Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Lousie Rennison

“Everyone is so bloody keen on me thinking all of a sudden. It’s not what I do.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsOhmygiddygodspyjamas! The tenth marvy book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson is here! Get ready to laugh like a loon on loon tablets. It’s the FINAL installment of Georgia’s fab and hilarious diary! Does Georgia escape the cakeshop of luuurve? Can there be more heartbreaknosity in store? Will the Sex God pop up again unexpectedly (oo-er)! And what about the supreme accidental snogmaster Dave the Laugh? Will she FINALLY choose her only one and only? So many boys, so little time!

Feelings: OO-ER. (That phrase probably came up a thousand times in this book.) I genuinely don’t know what to say about this book that I haven’t already said about the others. I think Georgia’s voice is great both figuratively and literally (I highly recommend the audiobook). I think her friend group adds an interesting dynamic and her boy toys are pretty different, as well. So there’s some variety in characters, but not with the actual plot line.

I wish there had been visual aids to help me with their school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. I mean…the villagers ARE blood. And the kissing scene involved waves. I just can’t. It had to be pure hilariosity.

Issues: Like I’ve said about every other book in this series…they’re all the same and this one was barely any different. They just…have the same characteristics and the same series of events happening in different ways. It makes for a mindless read, but at the same time, I feel like it could all be condensed into a duology and I wouldn’t have spent so much time finishing this series.

Characters: I’ve always been a fan of Dave the Laugh, and that doesn’t change in this finale. Well played, well chosen, way to go everyone. I like the way Georgia and Dave end up and I’m hoping that she will finally experience something real-ish with him.

Oh, Massimo, you sweet Luurrvvee God and Italian Stallion. He was willing to give up his career to stay around for Georgia…and she’s only like 15! He made the right decision in the end…for multiple reasons. But I was SO frustrated with Georgia when she was trying to decide between asking him to stay or letting him go. But honestly, that may be because I’m an adult reading this and not a teenager.

Final thoughts: I’m glad I finished this series, only because my boy won out in the end. But again, I think you could stop reading the series at any point and your life will go on. I wish I had read this series as a teenager because I think I would have enjoyed it much more. As an adult, there was little sympathy or understanding from me towards Georgia. The writing is really funny and the diary format makes for a quick read; Georgia’s narrations are engaging and hilarious, so it has its merits!

Goodreads rating: 4.21/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.2/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

*This review will contain some spoilers if you haven’t caught up with this series.*

“It’s a rare person to face who they are and not run from it – not be broken by it.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Feelings: I seriously, seriously love Maas’ writing style. She always uses just the right amount of detail and I’m not even mad that this book was 699 pages long. NOT EVEN MAD. I always look forward to her stories and read them fairly quickly, all things considered (with a tiny exception with this one).

I feel like this world is finally rounding out. We have information on ever sector of this land, historical background to explain tensions and relationships, and the major conflicts make sense. While it IS all coming together, there are a still a couple of story arcs that don’t feel necessary right now, but I could see how she may develop them moving forward.

Issues: From the beginning, this story felt different from the other two. The first quarter of the book felt really, really rushed and it wasn’t making me want to read. I wasn’t as drawn in as I was with the previous two books; it took me a lot longer to really get going. However, once I hit the 200 page mark, I flew through the rest of it!

I have been SO conflicted about Tamlin from the very first book. It wasn’t just that my feelings were changing as the story developed, but I felt like Tamlin as a character hadn’t been nailed down yet; the writing felt like he was supposed to be good, then bad, then good…and I have reading whiplash. By the end of this book, I think we’re starting to get to know the real Tamlin and I’m hopeful about where his story arc is headed.

The way the huge battle at the end of the story gets wrapped up kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. Sure, the allies that showed up were great and well explained, but that ONE character that we haven’t heard from or seen in a while…then he was gone…and I just didn’t jive with that choice.

On that note, I really feel like if the whole “human queens” plot line wasn’t a thing…this series could have ended here and I would have been mostly satisfied. I worry that the next book will feel like this story is dragging on and on…which is how I feel about Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Characters: FINALLY a reason for Mor and Azriel’s awkward love (dis)connection. Poor guy has loved her for 500 years and I was feeling frustrated about her lack of resolution. I felt like she was just stringing him along…for 5 centuries! But near the end of this book, Mor finally confesses what’s going on with her. And honestly, I think the way Maas wrote Mor’s feelings and conflict here was well done; I think a lot of people will be able to see themselves in Mor and relate to what she’s going through. I’m hopeful that she tells Azriel the truth in the next book, so we can see her live her best life.

I was really happy to see that Lucien was stepping back from Elain and letting her adjust to her new life, rather than pushing himself and their mating bond onto her. She had a handful of major life changes to figure out and I feel like by the end of this book, she’s starting to act like her true, new self. So I think the next book will be interesting between both her and Lucien AND her and Azriel.

I feel like Feyre and her two sisters really grow together in this story. Yes, they have some issues to navigate through but this book just felt like we really saw them as sisters and I love that. They’re finally seeing, accepting, and loving each other as they are.

How can I NOT menton Feyre and Rhysand? (Also, is ANYONE pronouncing his name correctly? I should probably google it, but I’m afraid I’ve been saying it wrong all along…like Voldemort.) ANYWAY…I love them. A lot. I love that they’re imperfect. And I love that even though they’re mates, they’ve still got a lot to learn about each other; that helps me believe that they could spend centuries together. I love the way they see each other and support each other. I’m just a fan, I have to say. I loved Rhys from the beginning, so I’m all about this duo. Feyre bothered me in the first book and into the second, but I think she’s really developed at this point. I loved the scene with the Ouroboros mirror; seeing her true self and loving the good and the ugly.

Final thoughts: After I got through the bumpy start, it was smooth sailing. If you’ve been reading this series and you’ve felt hesitant about book 3, my advice is to continue reading. As always with Maas’ books, I worry about the following story, but I’m still onboard! Great characters, beautiful writing…there’s a reason Maas is one of my auto-buy authors.

Goodreads rating: 4.54/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4.5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

“It’s always tough to hurt someone and tell them the truth. I know that. You’re a really lovely girl. Lovely . . . mad . . . but
lovely. I’ll always like you. Don’t worry.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsThe original Sex God has re-landed, Masimo the Italian Stallion wants to be her boyfriend, and Dave the Laugh is still a regular snoggee. How will Georgia cope juggling all three boys of her dreams? Have her days on the rack of love really gone for good? Or will this just lead to confusionosity and merde?

Feelings:  I decided to once again go for the audiobook version. This book had a different narrator, so it isn’t narrated by the author. It was still narrated really well and I think this reader really captured Georgia’s personality and spirit.

Georgia always makes me laugh, but for some reason this book in particular made me laugh out loud multiple times. Literally – out loud, on my own, just laughing. For example, there’s a scene where Gee is complaining about a documentary they have to watch at school about bees. When it’s over, she’s talking about how awesome it was and how they wanted to watch two queen bees in a bitch fight a second time. So great and so classic Georgia.

Issues: The only thing I really have to say about this book is that it kind of dragged sometimes. The tempo of the story slowed down quite a bit at times, but then it would pick back up and I’d be interested again.

Characters: One thing I thought was really funny was how Georgia kept referring to her love interests as desserts. She just kept going back to that cake shop of love and switching things up – so funny to listen to. Ever since I started reading this series, I’ve mentioned I want Georgia to grow up some more. I’d say we see that in this book more so than the others, and I’m HERE for it. We’ve only got 2 books left, so I’m allowing myself to hope for some maturiosity.

I feel nothing towards Masimo. I don’t find him to be a particularly interesting character and I’m ready for Georgia to move on from him. I get that he’s foreign and has that accent…but being from Pizza-a-gogo land isn’t doing it for me. Surprisingly, I was okay with Robbie being back! That surprised me, but it’s probably mostly because I was bored by the Italian Stallion. Still rooting for Dave the Laugh, I have to say!

I enjoyed the scene where Jas puts her new found acting skills to use, role playing as herself talking to Tom. It seemed like Georgia was noticing that Jas isn’t completely useless, as she’s stated many times, but then NOPE. Back to complaining about her “best friend”.

Final thoughts: I think this is a good series and I enjoy it. It’s not deep, compelling literature for the ages, but it’s entertaining and fun. It’s also nice as a buffer between serious novels or non-fiction. Georgia lightens things up and I like that about her!

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Stop in the Name of Pants! by Louise Rennison

“Rosie get off your desk, and please put your beard away.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsBlimey O’Reilly’s trousers! Three maybe-boyfriends is a lot for any girl to handle ”red-bottomed or not. What with Robbie the Sex God back from Kiwi-a-gogo land wanting to “get coffee” and whatsit, Masimo the Luuurve God saying things like “Ciao, Georgia, see you later” (the good see-you-later or the bad see-you-later??), and her mate Dave the Laugh snogging her in a pond, it’s enough to make any girl mad. Good thing she has the ace gang to keep her sane. Ish. But now that she has tearfully eschewed Robbie the Sex God with a firm hand, Georgia is left with two potential snoggees to choose from, and it’s high time she left the cakeshop of love for good. This time with a gorgey Italian cakey. Or a nip-libbling Dave the Tart. But certainly not both. Maybe.

Feelings: While all of Georgia’s stories are packed full of drama, this one felt like things were actually happening, rather than her just imagining them. So that helped bring the story to life and keep it moving. I think because of this, I may have enjoyed this installment the most of the series so far. And also, “fisticuffs at dawn” is probably my new favorite phrase. So thanks for that, Georgia and Dave.

Issues: Georgia is back to being a jerk to her parents. Her mom and dad are having marital problems and very obviously struggling and all Gee can do is hate them. Like literally. She hates them because they won’t let her go spend time in Italy with an older boy…by herself. Georgia continues to be completely unaware of others around her and is still incredibly selfish. This is book 9. I was really expecting more growth by now. I thought that when Angus got hurt, reality would slap her in the face and she’d mature some, but…no.

Characters: Crazy Georgia thinks she’s going to be able to hop over to Italy to visit with her older boyfriend without any adults with her. Typical Georgia. And when she is putting lip gloss on and changing her outfit so she can talk to him on the PHONE – dead.

Yes, Jas. This character has grown into herself and given us some very tangible growth over time, thanks be to the Almighty. Honestly, she’s the only one growing and changing. And Georgia keeps giving her a hard time for being herself and Jas is standing up to her more and more. And I am HERE for it.

Svan and Rosie’s Viking wedding plans are killing me. And the Viking dance has got to stop. These are the moments in my reading where I stop and go, “Why is this happening? Why am I reading this?” Like it’s not even funny anymore, it’s just annoying. There are plenty of really, truly funny moments in these books…but this whole Viking thing is not one of them.

Final thoughts: As much as I enjoyed this installment of the series, I’m glad I’m almost done reading these books. It just feels like a different variation of the same plot line every book. I’m kind of wishing that this was the end of the line, but we’ve got one more!

Goodreads rating: 4.16/5

Amazon.com rating: 3.8/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Startled by His Furry Shorts by Louise Rennison

“Oh Goddygodgod, am I never to be free from my own bonkerosity?”

Synopsis from GoodreadsGeorgia is in quite a predicament. Dave the Laugh has declared his love for her (at least she thinks he was talking about her), leaving her in a state of confusiosity. And then when she finally decides to give Masimo an ultimatum — to be her one and only — he tells her he needs to think about it. To distract herself from her romantic woes, Georgia throws herself into Mac-Useless play rehearsals and planning a Viking wedding, and tries to avoid all thoughts of boy decoys, Italian-American dreamboats . . . and let’s not forget guitar-plucking Sex Gods!

Feelings: This particular book didn’t have an Audible.com option, so I went to the Kindle book. I have to say, this may be my favorite book in the series so far. It just finally felt like things were happening! Georgia has multiple love interests and real, tangible things are developing with each one, which probably means the next book is going to be really cram-jam full and I am HERE for it.

Issues: If you’ve been following me as I journey through these books, you’ll know that I’m really not a big fan of Robbie (aka The Sex God). Their relationship always seemed empty and bland to me. However, in this book he wrote her a letter and it showed very real interest in her. I don’t know how to feel about him coming back into her life, so it’s under “issues” because I’m worried he’ll throw a big wrench in her life…again.

One of the downfalls of listening to audiobooks (for me) is that I can miss details. I’m not an auditory learner so I can tend to zone out and then totally not know what’s actually going on. For example: Who the devil is Mabs? Where did she come from and how did I miss her? This may not be an actual “issue” of the author throwing in a new character without fanfare and just be me missing something because I listened to the last two books. So take this “issue” with a grain of salt.

Characters: One thing I’ve been watching for with Georgia is her ability to have an actual relationship with her parents. She has a lot of love for her little sister Libby, but talks crap about her parents and ignores them most of the time. In the last book or two, that started to shift just a smidge. In this book, though, we finally see something real. Part of it is probably because Georgia is getting older and maturing a tiny, minuscule bit, but it’s also partly because Georgia finally has something that she values her mom’s input on.

Jas and Georgia are back with their weird friendship. They ignore each other, love each other, then repeat. It’s classic teenage girl, really, but it gets old. Georgia hasn’t been as rude to Jas as she has in the past, though, so RESULT! Rosie is probably the weirdest friend character I’ve ever read. And her relationship with Svan is truly baffling. And poor Ellen. She’s like the sad little puppy of the ace gang. I’m curious as to how Georgia will fill Ellen in on her past with Dave the Laugh, considering Ellen is like obsessed with him. Then there’s Jools, who, like Mabs, seemed to come out of nowhere. All I know about Jools is that she’s with Rollo…but don’t ask me anything concrete about Rollo. So many friends, so little details.

Final thoughts: While things finally were developing in our storyline, it’s all still the same old Georgia: parents, boys, friends, and self-image. These books are silly and hilarious with this particular book at the top.

Goodreads rating: 4.13/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.3/5

My rating: 4.25/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers (audiobook) by Louise Rennison

“What in the name of Beelzebub’s stamp collection are you on about?”

Synopsis from GoodreadsHilariously funny author Louise Rennison’s fabby sixth book of the confessions of crazy but lovable teenager Georgia Nicolson. Guaranteed to have the nation laughing their knickers off! Laugh your socks off at Georgia’s tales from her trip to Hamburger-a-gogo land, and her attempts to entice Masimo, the Italian stallion. Can Georgia become the composed sex-kitten she aspires to be!? Surely not!

Feelings: Once again, I chose the audiobook. I’m just finding it to be more enjoyable! 

I have to say…I’m getting “over” wanting Georgia to mature. She’s experiencing some very real realities of growing up (as well as some really extreme and weird situations.) When I decided to stop analyzing these books like they’re classic literature, I found myself really…finally enjoying the story. It’s like I’m really starting to get it: the appeal and draw of Georgia. And I’m a fan. 

Issues: I think the only part of this story that I had an issue with was when Robbie showed back up again. It seemed like we were headed towards two other love interests, but then the Sex God poked his head back in and reminded Georgia he existed. So now she’s got 3 guys in her life and a lot of feelings to navigate through. I don’t know…I guess this is a stretch for “issue”…it’s more like a personal annoyance. 

Characters: In both this book and the one before it, I found myself enjoying Georgia much more. I thought it was really funny how while planning out her trip to America, she thinks it should be simple to get from Memphis to Manhattan so she can track down Massimo. There are multiple problems there, but her teenage girl mind doesn’t see them. I was also really happy to see her having a very real moment with her mom and actually enjoying herself! Hoping mom’s advice plays out in Georgia’s favor!

We started to see a different side to Jas when she and Tom decided to take a break, but she was almost unrecognizable in this book. She was so down in the dumps! But then she started to come out of it, but I’m glad she experienced this. It’s good for her. 

Narrator: If you missed my review of book five in this series, I talked about how the audio books are narrated by the author, Louise Rennison, and it makes ALL the difference. Obviously, nobody understands her characters the way she does so she hits everything on the head. In this book, she does some American accents and it’s pretty hilarious.

Final thoughts: Again, I’d recommend the audio versions of these books. They’re just really fun and enjoyable. However, the print copies of these books are still good reads. The style it’s written in makes it easy to read. As for Georgia herself, I’m enjoying her more and more and I’m ready to continue on with her adventures…which is good because we’re only halfway through!

 

Goodreads rating: 4.09/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.1/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Keep the Home Fires Burning, Part One by S. Block

Synopsis from Goodreads1940, Great Paxford, Cheshire. In Britain’s darkest hour, an extraordinary community of women strive to protect the Home Front. When a plane crashes in the village, every one of their lives will change forever . . . The women of Great Paxford are no strangers to hardship and the extraordinary power of what women can achieve when they work together. But the most testing moment of their lives so far is hurtling toward them. Can Frances, Sarah, Pat, Steph and the women of the WI survive their greatest challenge yet?

Feelings: I am SO EXCITED about this, friends. This is part one in a new four part series of ebooks that will be published one per month from July-October. In October, you’ll be able to purchase the four parts together as one novel. This series picks up after the TV series Home Fires ended. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, you need to stop reading this blog and go binge watch it. Go now! I’m obsessed with it. Unfortunately, the final season was left on a HUGE cliffhanger because they were anticipating another season…but then they got canceled. So our story gets to continue in written form – yes!

This particular book starts literally at where the show left off and relays to us the scene we remember. Then we backtrack, setting it up, which is good if you haven’t seen the episode in a while or if you’ve never seen it at all. In fact, I’d say that more than a third of this book is spent giving us back story. I didn’t mind it that much because it was helpful to remember who everyone was, but I also knew that this was just the beginning of this four part story. So there’s plenty of upcoming pages for new things to happen!

Issues: There’s one character, Annie, that I remember not really liking in the series and that feeling continues in this book. She’s fine on her own, I just don’t like how she’s starting to confuse Teresa and make her question her decision to marry Nick. Teresa has committed to him, so I need Annie to back off a little bit. T’s got her own issues and doubts without Annie adding more.

The way it was written makes sense to me, but nothing really actually happened since where the series ended. This book was just kind of setting the stage and leaning into the next book. I get it and I think it was necessary, but again…it made it where nothing new took place.

Characters: Because of the way Block backtracked in most of this book, we didn’t get any real character development just yet. However, there are some new changes that’ll impact the characters in the very near future. Most likely what I’ll do for each installment is focus on a few characters. This story has a large cast, so covering all of them would take a lot of space!

Joyce – Oh, Mrs. Cameron. I didn’t care for her when the TV series started, but she really grew on me. I loved how she went off with Miriam and the others when M started going into labor. She’s really taking on a new role in their community, really being part of their lives. I’m also really grateful that Pat and Bob are living with her for the time being. Pat needs someone to lean on other than her jerk husband. But Joyce’s fawning over Bob needs to stop. I’m hoping Pat will open up to her so that she sees Bob for who he really is.

Sarah – She was a character that I couldn’t quite figure out and the book has helped me. Being in her head and seeing what she’s thinking has shown me how afraid she is about where Adam could be and what her true feelings were during her time with Nick. I hope she gets closure about Adam’s whereabouts, whether he comes home or she gets reliable information.

Miriam – I was worried about Miriam when David went missing during his time at sea. She was so convinced that everything would be ok that she was almost delusional. Then when she got pregnant and David came home, all really was well, other than David’s war wounds. The plane crash and the traumatizing rescue are a new obstacle for Miriam, both mentally and emotionally, as well as physically. In this book, she started to seem again like the Miriam that worried me.

Final thoughts: I would definitely recommend watching the series before picking up the books, however it’s not completely necessary. Block does a good job of giving us background information and character histories, so you could pick up the story with these books and have a full understanding of what’s going on and who these people are.

Pick this up if you liked:

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (books or TV series)

Goodreads rating: 4.57/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn