Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Book Reviews - Love Stories, Feels, Twists and Such

Honestly, at this point, I should just title every other post this, as this is the most common quartet mix. Here's what it was made up of this round!

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston was just the YA romcom goodness I needed in my life. The story focused on Sophie. Fresh off a breakup and spending the holidays at her grandparents, she decides to put her love life in the hands of others. She agrees to let her extended family to set her up on blind dates - ten to be exact. It's quite the array of dates, and each family member makes very different choices, and some dates are definitely better than others. Along the way, Sophie also finds that she might have had some love in her life all along. Look y'all, this was just so much cheesy, emotional, wonderful goodness. I could see where things might be going, but that just made me want to read more. Sometimes you just need a book that makes you smile, and this was so much of that.

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim was just a delight of a middle grade novel. It focuses on Yumi who wants to attend a comedy camp hosted by her favorite stand-up comedian. However, her family doesn't support her dreams. She finds a way into the camp (by taking someone else's spot), but it means she has to lie to her family and make them think she's taking a test prep course. Along the way, she starts to build her confidence in herself and her craft. I loved that this explored a girl finding herself with a unique hobby. It also showed how she navigated family expectations to find her way to happiness. 

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo was a novel I first loved because of the format. It was written in verse, and this was just the perfect way to tell the emotional story of two sisters. Camino and Yahala are (literal) countries apart. Camino is in New York, and Yahala is in the Dominican Republic. What they don't realize is that they share a father until he tragically passes away. As the navigate their grief and loss, they each learn that there is someone else who knows how they feel. They also learn that they each knew different sides of their father. While the story is about the secrets their father kept, it's also about figuring out a relationship with someone who comes into your life in an incredibly unexpected way. This one had so many feels, and it was so, so good.

Her Dark Lies by JT Ellison was another book in the subgenre of destination wedding thrillers that I've found my way into lately. The problem with this unexpected subgenre is I inevitably compare and contrast the stories. If I'm being honest (and I obvs am because that's what I do with these reviews), there are other destination wedding thrills I liked better. For me, this was a slow start. I prefer a thriller the sucks me from its first moments, and this one took awhile to get going. The story focuses on the wedding of Claire and Jack. As it goes, both Claire and Jack have some big secrets. This includes some mystery surrounding what really happened to Jack's first wife. Oh, and add a side of some crazy stuff that goes down on the island where the wedding is being held. I did think the big twisty reveal was good, so I was into the thrills by the end. Thanks to NetGalley for the look at this recent release!

Onto the next ones!