Seven Percent of Ro Devereux Review

Summary (from the publisher): Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.ro

Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The app will even match users with their soul mates. Though it was only supposed to be a class project, MASH quickly takes off and gains the attention of tech investors.

Ro’s dream is to work in Silicon Valley, and she’ll do anything to prove to her new backing company—and the world—that the app works. So it’s a huge shock when the app says her soul mate is Miller, her childhood best friend with whom she had a friendship-destroying fight three years ago. Now thrust into a fake dating scenario, Ro and Miller must address the years of pain between them if either of them will have any chance of achieving their dreams.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars


My Thoughts:

We all know that a new year brings new books, and I was so excited that one of the YA novels I was most looking forward in 2023 just came out this month, Ellen O’Clover’s Seven Percent of Ro Devereux. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux follows high school senior, Ro, whose senior project, an app of the same name as the game MASH, gets picked up by a tech company and her life completely transforms as the game gets downloaded by thousands and thousands of people each day. What also makes things crazier? The company wants Ro to be the face of MASH, and Ro gets matched with her former best friend, Miller. As the two become the face of the app and the media world’s darling couple, Ro questions if the company’s goals are the same as hers.

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux is perfect for fans of YA contemporaries from authors like Rachel Lynn Solomon and Marisa Kanter. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux was the type of book I didn’t want to put down. Most of you know that I’m a middle school English Language Arts teacher, and I was so excited that I started a new round of independent reading with my classes (sidenote that we’re currently reading contemporary fiction as we read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover) the week I was reading this book. I continued reading at work with my students! Ellen O’Clover’s writing style was engaging from the get-go. I loved her opening lines each chapter, hooking me instantly and the way each chapter ended, whether from purposeful/obvious cliffhanger or not, made me want to keep going. 

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Exes and O’s by Amy Lea Review

60880795Summary: A romance novel-obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes on her hunt for true love in this romantic comedy from the author of Set On You.
Romance book connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men—all of whom dumped her because of her “stage-five clinger” tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead, thanks to modern dating apps. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance.
 

Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn’t his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara’s journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.
 

The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily ever after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection?

 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Since I adored Amy Lea’s debut, Set on You, in 2022, I couldn’t wait to reader her latest release, Exes and O’s. The next book in The Influencers companion series, Exes and O’s follows Crystal’s sister, Tara. As soon as we met Tara in Set on You (PSA that you don’t have to read Set on You before Exes and O’s other than of course being ‘spoiled’ about Crystal and her love interest), I knew that I wanted a book all about her, since she is a book influencer! 

Getting back on her feet after her fiancé canceled their wedding, book influencer & nurse Tara is moving out of her sister’s place and sharing an apartment with her broody roommate & Boston firefighter, Trevor. With her hospital’s Valentine’s Day Gala coming up & wanting to have a romance like the ones she reads about all the time, Tara works through her list of exes, determined to have a happily ever after, second chance romance with one of them. Tara enlists Trevor to help her out with her ex dates and the two might just be finding more chemistry with one another than Tara is having with her exes…

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Mr.Perfect on Paper Review

59411914Summary (from the publisher):
As the creator and CEO of the popular Jewish dating app J-Mate, matchmaker Dara Rabinowitz knows the formula for lasting love—at least, for everyone else. When it comes to her own love life, she’s been idling indefinitely. Until her beloved bubbe shares Dara’s checklist for “The Perfect Jewish Husband” on national television and charming news anchor Chris Steadfast proposes they turn Dara’s search into must-see TV.
As a non-Jewish single dad, Chris doesn’t check any of Dara’s boxes. But her hunt for Mr. Perfect is the ratings boost his show desperately needs. If only Chris could ignore his own pesky attraction to Dara—a task much easier said than done when Dara starts questioning if “perfect on paper” can compete with how hard she’s falling for Chris…

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I loved reading Jean Meltzer’s debut, The Matzah Ball, last December, & so many of my book reviewer friends have loved her 2022 release, Mr. Perfect on Paper — and I am so happy to say that I am now one of them!

 Set during the Jewish high holidays & Hanukkah, Mr. Perfect on Paper follows Jewish dating app creator, Dara, who gets so much media attention when her beloved grandmother describes Dara’s ideal man during a TV interview with Chris, a daytime news anchor. To help improve his show’s ratings and to satisfy Dara’s grandmother, the two team-up and create a mini series where Dara dates guys based on her list, with plenty of mishaps and some feelings between Dara & Chris involved. 

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What I’ve Been Reading Lately: November 2022 Edition

Another day of catching you up on my recent reads! Over the two weeks, I’ve been delving into some adult contemporary – I guess some are considered women’s fiction, but I‘m not a fan of that label…and spoiler for a new-to-me author below, but I feel like Katherine Center is more contemporary, but on the edge of contemporary romance?? – my first holiday read of the season, a short story collection from my favorite beach read author, a new YA book, and an amazing graphic novel geared towards younger readers, but perfect for readers of all ages.

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle – I decided while giving out candy on Halloween that it was time for me to dive into holiday books this season, starting with Just Like Magic! Sarah Hogle’s Just Like Magic follows a woman, Bettie, whose life is not the one of luxury she previously had or promotes on her social media accounts. When she drunkenly plays Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” on her vinyl, a mishap leads the holiday spirt, Hall, to appear and help Bettie get through the holidays with her family. Sarah Hogle’s books have this sense of quirkiness that I love – it did take me the first 50 pages or so to really settle into Just Like Magic – Bettie isn’t the most likable MC – but I love its humor and quirkiness, as Bettie spends the holiday with Hall and her over-the-top family. Overall, the book is unique but has many of the holiday tropes we’re all looking for this time of year.  My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Eight Nights of Flirting Review

51Qpz5lDqqL._AC_SY780_Summary (from the publisher):A sixteen-year-old girl is on a mission to find the perfect boyfriend this Hanukkah, but love might not go according to plan, in this charming winter romcom from the author of The Summer of Lost Letters.

Shira Barbanel has a plan: this Hanukkah, she’s going to get a boyfriend. And she has the perfect candidate in mind—her great-uncle’s assistant, Isaac. He’s reliable, brilliant, and of course, super hot. The only problem? Shira’s an absolute disaster when it comes to flirting.

Enter Tyler Nelson, Shira’s nemesis-slash-former-crush. As much as she hates to admit it, Tyler is the most charming and popular guy she knows. Which means he’s the perfect person to teach her how to win Isaac over.

When Shira and Tyler get snowed in together at Golden Doors, they strike a deal—flirting lessons for Shira in exchange for career connections for Tyler. But as Shira starts to see the sweet, funny boy beneath Tyler’s playboy exterior, she realizes she actually likes hanging out with him. And that wasn’t part of the plan.

Amidst a whirl of snowy adventures, hot chocolate, and candlelight, Shira must learn to trust her heart to discover if the romance she planned is really the one that will make her happiest.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

If you’ve just changed your Halloween decor for the upcoming holiday season and want your reading life to match, look no further than Hannah Reynold’s YA contemporary, Eight Nights of Flirting

Eight Nights of Flirting follows Jewish teen Shira during Hanukkah, as her huge family, filled with her parents, aunts, uncles, and tons of cousins & led by her grandparents spend the holiday in their family home on Nantucket. Shira has her eyes on her great uncle’s intern, Isaac, and teams up with her former crush, Tyler, to help her learn everything about flirting. As Shira and Tyler spend time together during their ‘lessons’ and trying to figure out the romantic past of one of Shira’s ancestors, Shira finds herself questioning if Isaac is the one she really wants after all. 

Eight Nights of Flirting is a semi companion novel to Hannah Reynolds’s The Summer of Lost Letters, in that Shira’s cousin is the male love interest in The Summer of Lost Letters. I’ve had The Summer of Lost Letters on my TBR, but just recently picked up a copy from the library – I guess the only ‘spoilers’ in Eight Nights of Flirting for Lost Letters surround whether  if Abby and Noah end up together and the connection between their grandparents. In short, I don’t think you necessarily have to read The Summer of Lost Letters before Eight Nights of Flirting, but there are minor spoilers for Hannah Reynold’s debut.

ANYWAY, Eight Nights of Flirting is one of the few novels I’ve read set on Nantucket other than of course Elin Hilderbrand’s novels, but aside from Elin Hilderbrand’s Winterstreet series, it was such a cute portrait of winter life on Nantucket. The book is set across the eight nights of Hanukah & then some, as Shira & her family celebrate with their family traditions, including a play led by Shira’s mischievous cousins in hopes of getting their grandparents to be on better terms with one another. It was such a fun read filled with banter, between Shira’s close-knit relationships with her cousins and of course, her friendship with Tyler. I think the book had the perfect balance of holiday fun and relationship development, alongside some self-discovery.

Overall, Eight Nights of Flirting is such a cozy YA contemporary perfect for the holiday season! 

I was provided with a review copy from the publisher in exchange for review. By no means did receiving this book affect my thoughts & opinions.

Have you read Eight Nights of Flirting or The Summer of Lost Letters? What YA contemporaries have you been loving lately? Share in the comments!

What I’ve Been Reading Lately: October 2022 Edition

Hello! It’s one of those times of year where I’m in the full swing of things when it comes to life & the school year. I’ve been reading about 2 books every weekend this fall and I’ve been loving it. I try to do my best to read during the week as well, but my brain is typically so exhausted by the end of the day that it makes it really hard to read (and yes, blog) unless I’m SUPER into what I’m reading…and while being so tired at night isn’t the best for reading, it makes my weekend reading feel so much more rewarding in a way! Today I’m going to be providing mini reviews of what I’ve been reading (and loving) lately. 

The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum – This is the type of book that no matter my exhaustion at the end of the day, I needed to keep reading The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen because it was that good!!! I so could’ve read this entire book in one sitting on a free weekend day, but instead read it over two nights. The book follows an Orthodox Jewish teenager, Hoodie, when he is caught between two worlds as he forms a friendship with the mayor’s daughter, whose mother is actively trying to get Hoodie’s community out of the town, and as anti-Semitic attacks increasingly occur in his community. The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen was both a humorous (thanks to Hoodie’s comedic POV) and profound read, as Hoodie experiences tension from his own community for questioning rules and tradition, especially while they are under attack from outsiders. In short, if there’s one YA book you read this year, make it this one. My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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WORTH THE READ? Things We Never Got Over Review

71dDj1W87kLSummary (from the publisher):Naomi wasn’t just running away from her wedding. She was riding to the rescue of her estranged twin to Knockemout, Virginia, a rough-around-the-edges town where disputes are settled the old-fashioned way…with fists and beer. Usually in that order.

Too bad for Naomi her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with something unexpected. The niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now she’s stuck in town with no car, no job, no plan, and no home with an 11-year-old going on thirty to take care of.

There’s a reason Knox doesn’t do complications or high-maintenance women, especially not the romantic ones. But since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help her out of her jam. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble he can leave her alone and get back to his peaceful, solitary life.

At least, that’s the plan until the trouble turns to real danger.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Things We Never Got Over has been over everyone’s bookish feeds this year. It finally took a trip to my local bookstore and seeing so many copies stacked on the romance table that made me put this on hold from the library – sidenote that it’s been so cool seeing more indie books in bookstores this year!

Things We Never Got Over is a small town romance following Naomi, a young woman who runs away from her wedding to help her identical twin sister…only for said rebellious sister to steal Naomi’s car and money and leave her with her twelve year old daughter in her small Virginia town. Enter Knox, who butts heads with Naomi as soon as she gets into town due to her sister’s bad reputation, but also can’t seem but help Naomi adjust to small town life and raising her niece. 

Don’t be fooled by Things We Never Got Over’s 500+ page length – you will not be able to put down this book until the end! I devoured the first 300 pages last Sunday and made it my post-work plan the next two days to read it until the end. Things We Never Got Over is the perfect read when you want a simple & addicting romance. I admit that I’m not the biggest indie romance reader – does Elle Kennedy or Colleen Hoover even count anymore?? – but the book reminded me of some under the radar romance books I read when I was first getting into contemporary romance/romance.

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The Final Gambit Review

58658940Summary (from the publisher): To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her.

But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.

Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

One of the most popular YA series of the past three years, The Inheritance Games, recently wrapped up with its third novel, The Final Gambit. I read books #1 and 2, The Inheritance Games and The Hawthorne Legacy, last fall and since finishing the sequel, I couldn’t wait for the third book to come out late this summer. The Final Gambit was also so hard to get me hands on an actual copy – it was sold out it so many bookstores and took a few weeks for it to come off my library holds list.

As the third book in a series, I’m going to do my best to avoid spoilers, but The Final Gambit begins shortly before Avery is set to finally inherit the billions left to her by Tobias Hawthorne. Of course, a person connected to the Hawthorne family’s past – and misdoing – arrives, throwing another complication and another game in the way of Avery getting to finally start her new life. The book of course includes the classic trademarks of the series, including but not limited to the four Hawthorne brothers’ antics & competitiveness, Avery’s feelings for Jameson and complicated relationship with Grayson, and new secrets and games revealed throughout. 

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2022 MUST READ: Thank You for Listening Review

81uefPNGYYLSummary (from the publisher): For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger.

 

On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her.

As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more.

If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I’m just going to start off this review by sharing exactly what you need to know: Julia Whelan’s sophomore contemporary romance, Thank You for Listening, is an absolute must read book for 2022 and beyond!! 

I read Julia Whelan’s debut, My Oxford Year, last year, loosely inspired on her own experience at Oxford. I liked that the book had contemporary romance tropes and an ending that didn’t exactly follow those tropes. I’m happy that Thank You for Listening takes a similar route, taking so many tropes from a contemporary romance and spinning them on their heads, also in part to the book’s synopsis. 

Sewanee is a very successful audiobook narrator, having had her start in romance books…even though she doesn’t really believe in happily-ever-afters, as she shares at a Las Vegas book convention & with the one-night stand she meets there. When she returns home from the trip,  after a beloved romance author passes away, one of the author’s final requests was that Sewanee partner with a male audiobook narrator to narrate one of her final works. Sewanne goes back to her pseudonym and works with one of the leading  male romance narrators in the audiobook game, Brock McKnight, and as the two collaborate with each other via email and text messages, they soon discover they have a lot more in common than they might’ve thought…. 

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FIVE STAR READ: Killers of a Certain Age Review

60149532._SY475_Summary (from the publisher): Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.

When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman–and a killer–of a certain age.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Deanna Raybourn’s Killers of a Certain Age was one of my most anticipated books for fall 2022. It’s been getting so much (well-deserved) attention in my reading recommendations sphere, especially since it was chosen as the Bad on Paper Podcast Book Club pick for September and I try to participate every month. 

I DEVOURED Killers of a Certain Age this weekend and I hope SO many readers keep picking up this mystery meets comedy (think Finlay Donovan is Killing It) about four retired assassins who discover on a cruise commemorating their retirement that someone on the ship is out to get them. Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie were trained together as an all female assassin group, led by one of the founders of an assassin network, the Museum. After successful careers, the book begins on their vacation as the four figure out someone from the Museum is out to get them. Led by Billie, the four must use their expertise as they get the job done: find out who set them as targets, why, and get them. 

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