London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

“I’ve spent so much time in the last few years trying to be perfect…and independent. And in the end, a rough draft and my friends made the difference.”

london-belongs-to-me

Synopsis from GoodreadsYour flight is now boarding! Join Alex Sinclair for a life-changing, trans-Atlantic journey. London Belongs to Me is a coming-of-age story about friendship, following your dreams, and learning when to let go … and when to hang on.

Meet Alex, a recent college graduate from Tallahassee, Florida in love with London, pop culture, and comic cons. It’s not easy being twenty-one-years-old, and Alex has never been the most popular girl. She’s an outsider, a geeky fangirl … with dreams of becoming a playwright in a city she’s loved from afar, but never visited. Fleeing America after a devastating betrayal, she believes London is where she’ll be understood, where she belongs. But Alex’s past of panic attacks and broken relationships is hard to escape. When her demons team up with a jealous rival determined to destroy her new British life, Alex begins to question everything: her life-long dream, her new friends, and whether London is where she truly belongs.

Feelings: I connected with this book on so many levels and have a lot in common with our main character, Alex. The panic attacks, the self doubt, the love of all things theatre and fandoms, a tour guide job, an obsession with London…Alex is me and I am her. I was so happy to see the way Alex and her anxiety were portrayed. It was a comfort to feel like I wasn’t the only one.

One of my favorite things about this story was the sightseeing we get to do vicariously through Alex. We get to travel to a few famous theatres and landmarks throughout the city and she teaches us some new (to Americans) slang. It was a fun adventure!

Issues: The author kept referring to characters by their hair color. This wouldn’t usually bother me, but it happened a LOT. “The blonde one”…”the brunette one”…it just got old. Which is odd, because at other points the writing is crazy descriptive. Almost too descriptive.

It thought it was interesting that there was so much GIRL POWER with Alex’s plays and at the same time, a major beef between Alex and Olivia throughout the book. As a result of this tiff, we saw a lot of struggle for Alex and we watched as she tried to navigate this conflict, leading to some strong character development. However, I wish there’d been some stronger resolution that fit with this empowering-each-other theme in the book.

Characters: I’ve already raved about Alex, but I’ll just also add that she’s a very real character. Sometimes I get annoyed with characters make stupid choices because why couldn’t they have done something else, but it was different with this book. She was so relatable that when she goofed up, I was going…yep…I totally get that. It just worked for me.

This book was SO friendship-centric and I loved every second of it. Lucy and Freddie were a strong cast of the classic “friend group” we find in young and new adult literature. They had so much in common, but were wholly unique at the same time. Each friend had their own specific voice and I loved that they disagreed with each other! They had their own minds and called each other out on their stupidity. Even when the love interest entered the scene, we kept up with the friendship at the heart of the story. I really appreciated that. I do wish they’d been developed a teeny bit more. At times, it felt like they were just there to impact the protagonist, rather than have their own journeys. It was like they went back and forth between being dynamic and static characters, ending up as the latter. But ultimately, I loved their trio friendship and was jealous multiple times.

Uh, yes…I’d like to order one Mark, please. Talk about a swoon-worthy love interest. He was an imperfect character, sure, but again with the realness. The way that he really SAW Alex was refreshing and I liked the way the author handled the friendship dynamic. And then there’s Harry. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a companion novel that focuses on his journey from where this book ends up. I think that character has a lot of potential and I’d like to see it fleshed out. I’m rooting for him. For all of them, really.

Final thoughts: This book isn’t perfect, but it was really fun and I ate it up and it’s the type of story I’ll be forcing my friends to read just so we can discuss it. If you’ve ever struggled with anxiety or panic attacks, this book is a refreshing depiction of what it’s like to live with constant worry. You’ll finish the book feeling like you can do anything. What’s not to love about that??

Pick this up if you liked:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads rating: 4.02/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.5/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

5 Books I Read Because of Hype

I’m one of those readers who runs on recommendations. I’m always looking for the latest craze or hype-inducing storyline. I want to know what I’m talking about when I join the conversation, so I always fall prey to hype. These are 5 books that I read because of all the conversations they started amongst the blogosphere and Goodreads threads.

anna and the french kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

SO MANY people told me to read this book. I was skeptical because I hadn’t really gotten into the contemporary scene at that point. But I finally decided to dive in on a sick day and I’m so glad that I did. Since I finished reading about Anna and Etienne, I’ve read the next two books in this companion story trio and I loved them. This book is the reason I reach for a contemporary romance. Plus that cover art. *Swoon*

throne

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I love high fantasy. I’m always interested in new worlds and innovative magic systems. I’d heard a lot of people talk about this series after the sequel came out, but the cover threw me off. It seemed weird, I’ll be honest. But I watched a spoiler-free review of the first book and the vlogger was SO into it. I love fangirling, so I wanted what she was having. And now? I freaking love this series. I always pre-order the new books long in advance and anxiously await their arrival, even clearing my schedule for them. These stories consume me. There are so many characters and so much world building that I’m too invested to stop now.

outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Everyone and their cat’s mom has talked about this series. I’m all about historical fiction and time travel, plus romance and Scotland…hubba hubba. But then, the romance also made me hesitated. I’m not one of those people who just LOVES blush inducing love scenes, call me crazy. Once the TV show started airing, I wanted to be part of the conversation, so I picked up the first book. I actually read it as I watched the episodes, which was pretty interesting. Then I watched the second season of the show and haven’t read the book. I AM glad that I read it. I thought the writing was powerful and the world was engaging. I would like to continue the series, but I haven’t settled on whether it’ll be print or TV, or both.

wrath

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I read a few blog posts and watched some booktube videos of readers raving about this story, so I picked it up. I sat down and read it cover to cover in one sitting. Not necessarily because it was a work of genius, but because it hooked me in and I had the time. Since then, the sequel has been released and I have yet to read it. I don’t really remember what happened in the first book, probably because I read it TOO quickly. I don’t know that I’ll pick up the second book any time soon. I already have it on my Kindle, staring at me, longing to be given a chance. Maybe the hype sucked me in TOO much the first time around.

all the light

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Again I say, I love me some historical fiction. Last year, I was on a major WWII kick and read book after book about that time period. I was also teaching The Diary of Anne Frank along with a WWII unit, so I was thirsty for more information. Everyone kept telling me that I should read this book, but the page count was daunting. Once I finally decided to give it a chance, I flew through it. The characters lept off the page and I was so emotionally invested in their fictional little lives. I love this book. It’ll forever be one of my favorites.

What books has hype made you read? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Final Reading Challenge Update

I’d planned on this being my 3rd of 4 total reading challenge updates for the year, but…I’M FINISHED. That’s right, friends. I have completed my reading challenge for 2016. This year, I was motivated to complete the challenge, but to BE challenged. This list didn’t encourage me to look for certain types of books, but rather to read what I wanted and see how I could fit it into the challenge.

I’m wanting to do something different for 2017. I don’t think I want to do a list of challenges like this for the third year in a row. Any suggestions?

In the meantime, check out the list of 50 books below! For books that I wrote full reviews on, I’ve included the link to that page!

Challenges completed: 50/50

  1. A winner from the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (read my full review HERE)
  2. A book about books – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (read my full review HERE)
  3. A book from the Rory Gilmore Challenge – Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. A book with one of the 5 W’s in the title (who/what/when/where/why) – What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (read my full review HERE)
  5. A book set more than 100 years ago – An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers (read my full review HERE)
  6. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you – The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay (read my full review HERE)
  7. A book by an author who writes under more than one name – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling  (read my full review HERE)
  8. A fairytale from a culture other than your own – The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (I Googled “fairytale” and according to the world wide web, “myth” is a synonym for “fairytale”. So it’s a stretch, but I’m running with it.) (read my full review HERE)
  9. A historical fiction book – The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson (read my full review HERE)
  10. An award winning book (ex: Newberry Medal, National Book Award, etc.) – Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan (read my full review HERE)
  11. A book you’re embarrassed to read in public – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (read my full review HERE)
  12. A book published in 2016 – Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (read my full review HERE)
  13. A book with a blue spine or cover – Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (read my full review HERE)
  14. A book with a horrible/ugly cover – Nothing But the Truth by Avi
  15. A book picked for you by someone else – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (read my full review HERE)
  16. A favorite book you read for a second time – A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers (read my full review HERE)
  17. A book you feel that everyone has read but you – Wolf by Wolf  by Ryan Graudin (read my full review HERE)
  18. A book recommended by a famous person – For the Love by Jen Hatmaker (read my full review HERE)
  19. A book you know nothing about – Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen (read my full review HERE)
  20. A book set in the country of your ancestors – An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus (read my full review HERE)
  21. A book with a child as the main character – Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen (read my full review HERE)
  22. A book with an unreliable narrator – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (read my full review HERE)
  23. A book whose main character shares your name (first, middle, or last) – Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (read my full review HERE)
  24. A book set during a war (historical or fictional war) – Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
  25. A chick-lit book – This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (read my full review HERE)
  26. A book written before you were born – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (read my full review HERE)
  27. A collection of poems – The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (While it may not be a “collection” of poems, there were poems throughout it. So I’m counting it. Ha!) (read my full review HERE)
  28. A book outside your comfort zone (genre, topic, number of pages, etc.) –The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin (read my full review HERE)
  29. A book about second chances – Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado (read my full review HERE)
  30. A prequel to a book series – Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (read my full review HERE)
  31. A book that has more than one author – Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
  32. A book by an author who is from a different country – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (read my full review HERE)
  33. A book that’s an author’s debut novel – That Summer by Sarah Dessen
  34. A book that you got for free – Ms. Marvel, Vol. 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson
  35. A book that was made into a movie, TV series, or mini-series – Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen [Movie version = How to Deal] (read my full review HERE)
  36. A play that was adapted into a musical or a movie – Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw
  37. A book that’s on the bestseller list – Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (read my full review HERE)
  38. A book spun off from another book – The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare and Joshua Lewis
  39. A book that made you laugh out loud – Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs (read my full review HERE)
  40. An audiobook –Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (read my full review HERE)
  41. A book your grandma (or other family member) loves – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  42. A book with a nonhuman protagonist – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (read my full review HERE)
  43. A book that takes place at a university – The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright (read my full review HERE)
  44. A mystery or thriller – I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
  45. A book recommended by a blog or Booktube video – Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, & Maureen Johnson (read my full review HERE)
  46. A book that takes place during a holiday – Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (read my full review HERE)
  47. A book you own, but haven’t read – The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (read my full review HERE)
  48. A book that you’ve “been meaning to read” – Ms. Marvel, Volume 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson
  49. A book you read with a friend or a book club – Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (read my full review HERE)
  50. A book you saw someone reading – Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs (read my full review HERE)

 Are you working towards completing a reading challenge? Do you have any recommendations for a 2017 Reading Challenge? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay

“…fiction conveyed change and truth and was loved and digested again and again because it reflected the worst, the best, and all the moments in between of the human experience.”

bronte plot

Synopsis from GoodreadsLucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else. As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change. Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

Feelings: I picked this book up during a stress-filled, exhausting week, so my reading was pretty slow going.  One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was its many references to classic British literature. It made me want to immediately pick up Jane Eyre or North and South and book a literary tour of England. There were so many plot points that reminded me of these classic stories, but with a modern twist which was fun to experience.

Issues: When I finally had time and energy, I read the last 100 pages in one sitting because by this point, I was actually invested in these characters. The first couple hundred pages kind of dragged on; we kept bringing up the same issues and mulling over the same mistakes (and making them again). I was so ready to move on from the rut we were in.

Characters: What a great duo we had in Lucy and Helen. The level on which they understood each other was nice to read. I loved their honesty and frank words towards each other, drawing out truths and facing their fears. At the end, though, it kind of felt like their relationship fell apart because they were home again. It didn’t completely fall apart, but they were no longer confidants. (Or in the words of Anne of Green Gables, “bosom friends.”)

Sid and Lucy’s relationship was sweet and familial. You can tell pretty early on how they depend on each other, not just in business, but in life. The ending for them was very realistic and points towards a lot of growth in the fictional future.

I really didn’t like James through the entire middle section of the book. I couldn’t understand him or his attitude and by the time I gave up on him, he was back and he was redeemable all of a sudden. In the end, he was an ok character, but I just didn’t really care anything about him. He’s not my favorite love interest.

Final thoughts: This book was ok. It’s not one that I’ll circle back to later for a second read or quote or anything like that. It was just ok. If you love classic literature, then I’d recommend this book. You may understand some of the references I didn’t and enjoy the setting!

Pick this up if you liked:

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James

Goodreads rating: 3.54/5

Amazon.com rating: 4/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

heir and spare

Synopsis from GoodreadsFor American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras. In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. At Oxford, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund.

Feelings: I’d heard people say that if you liked The Princess Diaries  books/movie and the movie The Prince and Me, then you’d love this book. I like both of those other princess stories, and while I was ok-ish with this book, it certainly wasn’t flawless.

Within the first few pages, I thought I would enjoy this book. The main character loves Jane Austen, reads Anne of Green Gables, talks Doctor Who, and watches You’ve Got Mail. I could identify with Evie many times throughout the story…maybe not about dating a prince, but you know…some other, more normal things, like our interests. But that’s as far as I was able to understand Evie. 

Issues: There were far too many elements that just fell into place. There were some things that were just too easy. For the sake of being spoiler-free, I’m just going to leave it at that. Books need struggle and mountain climbing sometimes. 

Another issue I had with this book was the complete lack of character development. Evie is the same person on the first page that she was on the last, really. She’s naive, she doesn’t think things through, and she’s the source of a few stupid conflicts. If she had learned from her mistakes and changed even in the slightest, I would have been on Team Evie. She just annoyed me for most of the book. And the back and forth, push and pull between her and Edmund was a bit much. A little uncertainty is realistic, but they just kept getting into scraps solely based on lack of communication. Come on, people.

Characters: Evie was living my dream in this book. The only thing I really enjoyed about this story was imagining myself in Evie’s shoes. She shows up at Oxford and makes an instant group of great friends, does well in her classes, and meets a literal Prince Charming. Sign me up. (See what I mean by everything falling into place?) As I said before, my issue with Evie was that she didn’t listen to those around her, she just flew off the handle. She needed to stop jumping to conclusions, making rash decisions, and just LISTEN.

I don’t know how I feel about Edmund. In my head…I imagined him looking like William Moseley, which I’m in no way complaining about. As a character, though, he was pushy and immature. He needed to make up his dang mind and I wanted to tell him to grow up a large number of times. Not a great love interest and certainly not a Prince Charming. 

The friend gang was so great. I was a little thrown off by Preston at first, but I really liked him by the end. I think each of their friends brought something different and unique to the whole group. I read online that the sequel to this book focuses on Preston, so I’m really excited for that.

Final thoughts: For a debut novel, I’d fist bump Emily Albright for effort. Interesting premise, different from the books it’s being compared to, and an overall okay read. If you’re wanting a book that you don’t want to analyze for depth or complexity, just a quick good-ish read, then look no further. If it hadn’t been for me wanting to live Evie’s life, I probably wouldn’t have cared for this book at all. 

Pick this up if you liked:

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Price and Me movie(s)

Goodreads rating: 3.5/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.1/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Welcome to my newest blog post series: Sundays with Sarah! I decided it was high time I read through all of Sarah Dessen’s books and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you. 

“Love is needing someone. Love is putting up with someone’s bad qualities because they somehow complete you.”

this lullaby

Synopsis from GoodreadsWhen it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

Feelings: I don’t love this book. I liked how Remy’s relationship with her mother deepens by the end of the book; they finally really understand each other. I liked how Dexter was a decent person – no jerks or two faced losers as the love interests, where the girl settles for someone who makes her feel pretty or whatever. I liked that the whole tone of the book changed by the final page. But I didn’t love it. Ok, I really liked it. I’m not gushing about it…but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I liked it. Okay…I have a broader vocabulary, I promise.

Issues: Remy’s negative, cynical attitude was hard to hurdle over. When I read a summer lovin’ type book like this, I want to be gripped from the get-go and I want to feel like I’m spending time with a friend. Remy was not that character for me. I didn’t understand her, I didn’t connect with her…but I liked the real Remy that was hiding under all those layers in the end. It just took a long time to find her and its worth it to stick this book out to the end so you can meet her.

Characters: In the beginning, we had negative complainy Remy, then her mom entered the scene and she kind of balanced things out, being so different from Remy. In the end, one thing I ended up liking about Remy is how she took her life into her own hands. She realized that Dexter couldn’t fix her and she wouldn’t be able to pour herself into fixing her mom’s problems, so she had no choice but to face her own reality and deal with it head on. And she did just that. She recognizes the differences in the people closest to her and instead of seeing them as things to fix or straighten up, she finds the value in their uniqueness. I also liked how protective she was of her friends and her family. She’s not about to be a wallflower, watching the world go by. She’s a powerful heroine and role model for teenage girls (and other readers of YA chick lit.) She has a past, yes, but she decides to leave those things behind her, where they belong. She learns from her mistakes and grows as a result.

I think Dexter is so great. He is so unabashedly himself – lanky and awkward and wonderful. I love his pursuit of Remy, despite the walls she’d put up to keep him out. He blends into different situations well, but in the end, he’s still just Dexter. He’s the sunshine to Remy’s cloudy skies, you know? He really balanced her out and made the book a lot easier to read in those denser moments.

Remy’s friends were a breath of fresh air. We didn’t get the friend group from clone-town, where they’re all the same and they all blend together in your mind. Each one stood out and had their own, individual take on the world. They fought and called each other out, but would also go to bat for each other (or throw Diet Zips at a jerk’s car for Remy.) They cussed and drank and smoked…different from other BFFs in contemporary chick-lit. I kind of liked that. I never knew what I was going to get from them.

Final thoughts: In the end, this book is entertaining and has that Dessen charm and quirkiness, but there’s some cynicism you have to trudge through. However, I think it’s worth seeing through to the end.

Pick this up if you liked:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (my favorite of her books that I’ve read)

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Goodreads rating: 4.04/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.4/5

My rating: 4.25/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

“But sometimes you have to be brave. Sometimes you have to show people what’s important in life.”

got your number

Synopsis from GoodreadsPoppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Feelings: I wasn’t expecting this to be any more than fluff. I recently read Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella and really enjoyed her style, so I thought I’d try out one of her adult books. I really enjoyed this book. Sure, it’s one where you think, This can’t all really be happening, can it? but I had a blast reading it. I laughed and sighed and smirked…all things I love to do while reading.

When Poppy’s life began to take a downward spiral, it made me feel like somewhat…ok. Not because I enjoyed watching her suffer, but because it was a nice escape to get caught up in someone else’s issues for a while. You know what I mean?

Sophie Kinsella is the master of story weaving. I’m telling you…by the end when the truths began to unravel, I realized how many hints and clues I’d missed! That never happens to me!

Issues: I liked all the footnotes at first, but then I just ignored them after a while. I thought the concept was engaging and interesting, but it was a bit overkill at times.

There were a few instances in the book that had me really annoyed. Poppy made some choices that made zero sense to me on any and all levels. They added drama and suspense, sure…but I was glad when they were over. I don’t want to spoil anything, but just know that I was annoyed sometimes. But it’s chick lit…let’s be honest…there’s always something annoying in chick lit but we get over it, just like when we marathon Hallmark movies.

Characters: I wasn’t sure what to think about this particular cast of characters at first. Honestly, I didn’t know who I could trust! Everyone seemed so shifty and self-interested. I love when the chicks in chick lit go on a journey of self discovery, self empowerment. What was unique about this book was that Poppy had a man encouraging her on this journey, not judging her or pushing her, but giving her sound advice and guidance. In doing so, he didn’t define her or tell her who she was – she found out for herself. I love that!

Final thoughts: I read this book in a short amount of time (and stayed up until 2 am to finish it) simply because it was great. It was entertaining and heartwarming…a great read. I highly recommend to anyone looking to get swept away.

Pick this up if you liked:

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Prada and Prejudice by Katie Oliver

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Goodreads rating: 3.92/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.4/5

My rating: 4.5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn