Review: Unqualified by Anna Faris

Unqualified
Author: Anna Faris
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books
Genre: Memoir, Comedy

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Anna Faris has advice for you. And it’s great advice, because she’s been through it all, and she wants to tell you what she’s learned. Her comic memoir and first book, Unqualified, will share Anna’s candid, sympathetic, and entertaining stories of love lost and won. Part memoir, part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast Anna Faris Is Unqualified, the book will reveal Anna’s unique take on how to navigate the bizarre, chaotic, and worthwhile adventure of finding love.

Hilarious, authentic, and actually useful, Unqualified is the book Anna’s fans have been waiting for.


I love Anna Faris, but Unqualified was a bit of a let down. It was interesting reading her thoughts and stories. I know it’s her memoir and her truths, but a lot of what she shared was self-deprecating. It wasn’t quite as funny as I expected.

One of the things that bugged me about this book was that it felt like an ode to Chris Pratt. It was definitely written prior to the end of their marriage, and so it feels odd to read about how much she loves him and how amazing he is when you know they have gone their separate ways. I also found it hard to read her description of her relationship with her first ex-husband. She wasn’t exactly bashing him, but it wasn’t nice either.

The shining chapter of Unqualified was the story of the birth of her son, Jack Pratt. This was the most emotional and real part of the book. This was the chapter I loved. I felt like I was truly getting to know Anna in this moment. I wish more of the book would have delved as deeply as this chapter did.

Overall, Unqualified was a fun read. It wasn’t my favorite celebrity memoir, but it did leave me feeling like I had a little more insight into the life of Anna Faris. I loved hearing about her life in Washington (I live there), and how she made it big. Her fans will enjoy this book. Although, like me, I’m sure they will wish she touched on her split from Chris Pratt.

 

Review: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

Foolish Hearts
Author: Emma Mills
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.


So. Stinking. Cute.

Really. That’s all I need to say. I’m not joking.

But I know you’re here for an actual review, so I’ll go ahead and write one.

Foolish Hearts is the story of an average girl navigating friendship, love, and family relationships. Claudia is that average girl. She doesn’t see herself as anything special — but of course she is. (Just like we all are.) Claudia has her best friend, but doesn’t feel the need to really have any other close friends even though she doesn’t go to school with Zoe. She also doesn’t have any desire to fall in love again. Claudia learned how easy it was to have her heart-broken. Claudia’s happy flying under the radar.

Life isn’t that simple, though. When Claudia witnesses a major breakup at school, it has a ripple effect that lands her working on the school play. Suddenly, people are noticing her. She’s being forced to make new friends and there’s this guy who might be into her. All of this makes Claudia uncomfortable, but also teaches her a lot.

Like I said before, Foolish Hearts was so stinking cute. I adored Claudia. I felt a lot like her when I was in high school oh so many years ago. I could relate to feeling average and then shocked when people liked me. I think so many of us feel this way in life, whether it’s in high school or as adults. I loved how much Claudia learned about life and herself throughout the story. It felt so true to real life.

If I adored Claudia, I don’t know how to describe how I felt about Gideon. If you follow my blog or Twitter, you’ll know one of my most favorite characters EVER is Frank Sanger (This Adventure Ends by Mills). My love for Gideon isn’t quite on the Frank Sanger level, but it’s pretty darn close. Gideon was an amazing friend. He put others first, and it did it in a way that was fun and interesting. I couldn’t get enough of his dialog. The things he said. Oh, Emma Mills, you make me smile so much!

I can’t leave out the rest of the characters. They were all awesome. Emma Mills has a way of making a cast of characters as important as the main characters without having them takeover the story. I loved the whole Iris and Paige thing, but especially Iris. That girl was a gem in this story. Same with Noah. He just added that extra something special. And I can’t leave out Claudia’s family — such great storylines! I love that family is actually a big focus in Mills’ books. They’re so often MIA in YA books.

Another thing I must touch on is the drama aspect of Foolish Hearts. Not drama as in what goes down, but drama as in a play. I’ve read books before with a theatrical theme, and they’re not normally my favorite. I loved the way the whole play thing was done in this book! It was fun. It worked well with the story and the characters. I was surprised by how much I loved it! I’m so happy Claudia was the Shakespeare Whisperer.

Obviously, Foolish Hearts gets a standing ovation from me. It was just so stinking cute and amazing and everything I ever want in a YA contemporary. If you haven’t read it yet, you must. If you haven’t read anything yet by Emma Mills, you must go and devour all of her books. They’re simply all so good.

Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Narrator: Eileen Stevens
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.


Hmm…This is going to be a tough review to write. Get ready for a long one.

Dumplin’ started out strongly. I loved Willowdean and her declarations about weight. I imagine anyone who has ever been overweight or self-conscious can relate to many of her thoughts and feelings. But…there were so many things that bothered me.

Willowdean’s negativity about herself and others got to me quickly. Her thoughts made me uncomfortable. Listening to them was rough. Mostly, I hated how she thought about and treated people.

I hated how she discounted Mitch and his feelings. Mitch was a nice guy. He didn’t deserve to be led on by Willowdean. She used him for his companionship, and I think she generally liked him, but she let him think they were more than they were. That made me sad. I don’t get why she didn’t feel a spark for him. I felt like there was a spark between them.

I hated how Willowdean thought about all of her new friends. She looked down on them. I didn’t get why she thought she was so much better than them. They were there for her when she was friendless and supported her. I was happy she learned what great people they were, but her thoughts were hurtful and upset me.

I hated Willowdean and Bo. There were some sweet moments between them, and they were a good couple. I just didn’t like how she thought of herself in relation to Bo. I didn’t understand her embarrassment of being seen with him. I get not liking to be the center of attention, but I figured she was be elated to be seen with someone who was so good-looking. (I only say that due to her low self-confidence and how she talked.) It was like being with Bo made her feel bad about herself, and that’s not healthy. Mitch didn’t have that same effect on her.

Last, I hated the way Willowdean handled everything with Ellen. I completely understood it because I’ve felt the way Willowdean felt at times in my life, but I feel like she should have apologized a whole heck of a lot sooner. Friendship is worth more than how she treated it.

This has been really negative so far, so let me tell you some of the things I loved.

I loved Willowdean’s new friends. They were all good people. They added so much to this story.

I loved Willowdean’s rocky relationship with her mom. I could relate to both Willowdean and her mother. You always want what’s best for your kids — want more for them than you had yourself.

I loved Mitch and all of his wisdom. He was a great human being who deserved more.

I loved Bo’s step-mom. She was a little kooky, but sweet.

I loved the performers and bouncer from the gay bar. Oh, and I can’t leave out Dolly. I loved all the Dolly Parton stuff.

I loved the narrator and the way she voiced Willowdean.

I loved how Elle and Willowdean worked out their friendship.

I loved how everything worked out with the pageant and her mom.

Most of all, I loved the many times Julie Murphy gave incredible thoughts and insight.

Despite all of these great things, reading Dumplin’ made me kind of miserable. Maybe it would have been better to read than listen to it. I don’t know. I felt consumed by Willowdean’s negativity and that was just so hard. I don’t know what else to say about this book. I think it will probably resonate differently for each person who reads it.

Review: Royal Ruin by Jessica Peterson

Title: Royal Ruin
Series: Flings with Kings #1
Author: Jessica Peterson
Genre: Royal Romance/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 18, 2018
Blurb
To: Emily@EPDesigns.com
From: HRHKit@PrimrosePalace.org.uk
SUBJECT: ENGAGEMENT CONTRACT (Marked Confidential)

FROM THE DESK OF
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE CHRISTOPHER
Emily—Thank you for joining me for dinner tonight. And for agreeing to my proposal, as ludicrous as it is. Desperate times call for fake engagements. At least in my family.
I am attaching the contract we discussed. Our lawyers asked that I highlight the following clauses:
  • The engagement shall last ninety days
  • Both parties are to appear genuinely in love at all royal appearances
  • Beyond required public displays of affection, there shall be no contact of any kind between the parties
The first half of your payment will be deposited into your account upon the signing of this contract. Be sure to note your ring size. We would like to make prompt delivery of the family emerald. The Queen and I thank you in advance for your discretion.
Cheers,
Kit
P.S.—Sorry to hear about your divorce. Your ex sounds like a proper knob head.
P.P.S.—You looked stunning tonight.

MY REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Royal Ruin is one of those books I wanted to love, but ended up just liking. There was one major reason for that and I’ll get to it soon, but first let me tell you what I loved about this book.

I really enjoy Jessica Peterson’s writing style. I’ve been reading her contemporary romances for a while now, and they are very entertaining. I like how she sets them in countries other than the United States. I also like how she uses first person dual point of view. Her characters always have such distinct voices. Kit and Emily surely did.

I adored Kit. He was a handsome prince, but he was also an amazing guy. The path he chose to follow was very noble. He was so giving of himself to others. I loved his relationship with his family, and how he would do anything for them. He made this book for me.

My problem with Royal Ruin was Emily. I didn’t like her. I couldn’t connect with her. I especially didn’t like her issues with an emotionally physical connection. To me, that was a HUGE issue to have and it was dealt with so quickly. One minute she can’t handle it, the next she’s cured by Kit. Maybe things happen that way, but I was skeptical. I also didn’t like her decisions. She was pretty selfish. For a moment, I actually understood what Luke was saying, and he was supposed to be the jerk in all of this. These things made it hard to get behind Kit’s love for Emily.

Even though I didn’t fall completely in love with Kit and Emily’s relationship, I did like the majority of the story. I especially liked the how the story ended. The way it all wrapped up was perfect. It had me rooting for Kit and Emily when I wasn’t so sure about them before.

Purchase Links
99c for release week only!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
Jessica Peterson began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in
the likes of Mr. Darcy, Jamie Fraser (OMG love the gingers!), and Edward Cullen, it wasn’t long before she began creating tall, dark and handsome heroes of her own.
She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Mr.
Peterson, and her smelly Goldendoodle Martha Bean. She is the author of the super sexy STUDY ABROAD and FLINGS WITH KINGS series. Check her out at www.jessicapeterson.com
Author Links

 

Release Blitz: Midnight Blue by L.J. Shen

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Midnight Blue, an all-new sexy standalone from LJ Shen is LIVE!

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Midnight Blue

Author: LJ Shen

Release Date: January 18th

It should have been easy.

I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.

I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.

The worst part is that I should have known better.

Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.

“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”

Sounds familiar? That’s because it was a headline in a tabloid the second time he got arrested.

Guess what? I didn’t listen.

I signed the contract.

World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.

My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.

Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.

Then he took my heart.

Then he took my all.

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Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2FNBCMg

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/MidnightBlue
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2lIShL2

About LJ Shen:

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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Connect with LJ Shen:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorljshen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lj_shen

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorljshen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorljshen/

Stay up to date with LJ Shen by signing up for her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/2umcYPg

http://www.authorljshen.com/

WWW Wednesday: January 17, 2018

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

This week I read Foolish Hearts and ARCs of We Were One (Looking Glass, #2) and Midnight Blue.


Currently ReadIng

I am reading an ARC of Love Me Like This (The Morrisons, #3).

I’m also listening to the audio book version of Dumplin’. I’m loving it so far.


Reading Next

Hmm…I think next up will be a library copy of Love, Life, and the List.


What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

Cover Reveal: Memphis by Ginger Scott

Check out the amazing cover of Memphis by Ginger Scott! We are so excited about this release!

Memphis by Ginger Scott

A Contemporary New Adult Romance
Release day: February 23
Goodreads

Blurb:

My mom always said it was just something about the way he moved.

The same swagger Archie Valentine wore in the ring when he took his opponents down followed him like a halo everywhere he went. But make no mistake about it—he was no angel. He was like a drug. My mother was his addict.I never understood it…how love could make you blind and convince you to drink the poison. Not until I met Memphis Delaney.

At first, it was the familiar form. He’s a fighter, built like a god from the past, the kind of man the universe doesn’t make anymore. His eyes hide a story, and every time I’m in his presence I want to keep reading him until I get to the end. And then…there’s the way he moves. His boxing is violent but beautiful, and his body is a seductive weapon. When he’s in the ring, he wears the stare of a man committed to the battle until his very last breath.

He could end me; turn me into her. Too much of him will leave me as a shadow, and I’ve lost so much of myself already.

But I have discipline. It came the hard way. Lessons learned, scars left behind, and trust stripped away from life.

I will breathe his air, but I won’t fall for a man like him. The only boxer who’s ever going to break my heart is the one who gave me my name.

About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com