Saturday, June 29, 2019

June 2019 Book Haul

Hey, guys!

Once again, I've acquired SO many books through my wily means. I've bought quite a few, been gifted some, and I've traded quite a few as well (though some aren't here yet). I've also read quite a lot, so don't think I'm just acquiring all of these books just because. I'm so excited about these books!

Here are the books I received, bought, and traded for.

  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
    • I bought this through the Book of the Month club! I'm so excited to read this book!
  • Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
    • I purchased this from Good Choice Reading! I'm so excited to have another Kristoff/Kaufman book signed! I cannot wait to read this for the last Biannual Bibliothon Read-a-Thon!
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
    • I actually acquired 2 copies of this book this month! One was a preorder and the other (which is pictured) is the OwlCrate edition. My regular edition is being lent out to Julia who is reading it for our book club! 
  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young 
    • Guys! Another OwlCrate edition! This is actually an exclusive new cover, signed, and so pretty! I acquired this through a Twitter trade!
  • Beyond the Shadowed Earth by Joanna Ruth Meyer [ARC]
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    • Alex and I have been wanting to pick this book up for a while, so while he was away for the week I snagged us two copies from Books A Million. I'm so excited to read this book. It looks phenomenal.
  • Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
    • I preordered this gorgeous book soon after finishing A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I plan on reading this in the next few days! I love bingeing Kemmerer's contemporaries!
  • Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keane
    • This is another BOTM pick! It sounds so intriguing! I cannot wait to dive in!
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
    • I went to an amazing sale at the beginning of the month and I found this 1st edition hardback for $2! How could I pass that up!?
  • How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
    • Another BOTM pick! I'm such a sucker for adult romance! This just sounded so fantastic! Not to mention, Taylor Jenkins Reid RAVED about this on the BOTM site!
  • The Song of Achilles by Margaret Rogerson
    • I actually got to meet Madeline Miller a few days ago! She spoke about her work for about an hour and then signed. I got my copy of Circe signed and then I bought a copy of The Song of Achilles for Alex and me, as well as a copy of Circe for him.
  • Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills [ARC]
    • This is also another book I acquired through a Twitter trade! I feel so blessed!
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Okay by Gail Honeyman
    • I'm so excited to read this! A huge shoutout to the BOTM swap group that has blessed me with so many awesome swaps!
  • The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
    • This book sounds so good! I cannot wait to get to it in July. Reese Witherspoon actually sold me on this book. It's her book club's June pick! I'm sad that I couldn't fit it into my June reading, but I'm definitely reading it in July.
  • The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger
    • This sounds so fascinating. Thank you Michael Balanger for the copy! Stay tuned for a review, all.
  • Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
    • Thank you, Berkley, for the gifted copy! I had the pleasure of reviewing WFTH through NetGalley and I really enjoyed this book. Don't forget to check out my review! 
  • The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
    • I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexandra for a blog post in early June. She and Putnam sent me a complimentary copy to review. I cannot wait to dive into this one. It sounds so freaking good.
  • The Moderne Faerie Tales by Holly Black
    • Another pre-order! I cannot wait to read these books! I've already started Tithe and I'm honestly iffy. 

Do you buy a lot of books? What has been your favorite of your recent purchases? 

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~

Thursday, June 20, 2019

{Mini-Reviews} Young Adult & New Adult Romance Novels!

Hey, guys!

For the past few months, I've been on such a romance kick --especially new adult and adult romance. I've just really enjoyed reading older protagonists. When it comes to new adult, I've really enjoyed reading romance stories about people in their twenties. Sometimes YA romance is just too young and cringy for my taste. Here are some of the lovely romance novels that I've read lately! 


Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren 
4.9 stars 

Roomies by Christina Lauren

4.8 stars

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

4.75 stars

If you've been following my recent reads, you'll know that I'm becoming trash for Christina Lauren's books. They're so engaging and addicting. I always love the characters, the story, the romance -- everything. Those ladies just have the best writing style and the best characters. I'm so glad that I've been reading their work. I cannot wait to read more from them. They're my romance crack books.

If you enjoy slow burn, hate to love, and fake relationships turned real, you'll really love these books. They use such bleh tropes, but really make them fantastic. I particularly enjoy all of them, so they just take all of my money.


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
5 stars

Another all-time favorite! Ugh! This book is just perfection! This is the perfect example of the hate-to-love trope. I can only praise this book because it's just so freaking wonderful. 

I definitely will be reading this again because I can't get it out of my head.


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
3 stars

I quite enjoyed this little contemporary, however, I really didn't enjoy the "talking on the internet, meeting irl, having crushes on each other, and allowing confusion to ensue because of the lack of communication" trope. I think that the confusion from that executed trope just added an extra element that wasn't needed. It would have been a much better fluffy romance without it. Overall, it was really cute and I liked the characters. The way that the author handled trauma, teen drug use, and safe and consensual sexual escapades was really nicely done. I love how sex-positive and healthy this romance was. It was also nice to read a hate-to-love romance that was written for teens. I'll definitely have to check out more of Jenn Bennett's work. 


One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
4.8 stars

I loved this book! Taylor Jenkins Reid did not disappoint! I've read two of her works now and I'm just so freaking impressed with how wonderful they are. They're cheesy in the best way, but so original too. I didn't find myself guessing what would happen next and I really enjoyed the pacing. I also really loved the characters in this book. They were so realistic and so raw. Their emotions are so well done and I cannot believe that Reid did that...SHE DID THAT! I definitely recommend this book. I love it so much. 


Daisy Jones + The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
5 stars

Trigger/Content Warnings for: substance abuse/addiction and abortion

Guys! This book! It was so freaking wonderful. I absolutely love love love everything about this book. It's so iconic and memorable. I can't stop thinking about it, and it's almost been a full month and a half since I've finished it. The formatting of the story was so fascinating and the way that Reid connected each character's voice through their perspectives was so masterful. I do not think anyone could write a book like this again. Fantastic! I cannot wait to read more from Taylor Jenkins Reid and I cannot wait to get my hands on the audiobook and reread this book. I need to read it again.


Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
3.5-3.75 stars

Trigger/content warnings for: misogynistic comments about physical appearance, parental abuse, attempted sexual assault, abuse, domestic violence, cheating, talk of miscarriages and abortion, and slut shaming

I'm sort of on the fence when it comes to this book. It was fluffy, it was steamy, it was a bit mindless...but there are an equal amount of pros and cons to this story. I really enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers trope and the FWB aspect, but it was absolutely infuriating at times. I was so annoyed with these characters, but so completely invested in their story. I had to finish. This book could be read as questionable, but I did really enjoy it. 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
4 stars

Last year, my boyfriend Alex and I went on a trip to Seattle where I got to present my academic work to a bunch of academic professionals. During our free time, we visited the Amazon Book Store and this was one of the books that we picked up. Alex read it right away and loved it. It took me a bit longer (who's surprised) and I also enjoyed it, though I read it via audiobook.

I really enjoyed the multicultural aspects of this story and I really loved the characters that developed throughout the story. The stories that the widows wrote were so hilarious and so steamy. Some of them were really shocking.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone. It touches on some important issues and concepts. I cannot wait to read more from Balli Kaur Jaswal.

What are your favorite romance reads? Let's discuss in the comments!

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

{Review} Circe by Madeline Miller


Page Count: 393
Published On: April 10, 2018
Published By: Little Brown & Company
Genre(s): Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Historical Fiction, Retelling
Source: audiobook via Audible & hardback purchased through Book of the Month
Where To Find It: Amazon // Book Depository 

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.


Hey, guys!

I've been really meaning to read this book for the longest time. I've been a fan of Madeline Miller's prose and style for such a long time. Back in April of 2018, I picked up Circe fully intending to read it right away, but in the true Liv the Book Nerd fashion, it didn't happen! Who's surprised? (No one.)

I also read her short story, Galatea, back in January and I was instantly hooked. It's truly a masterful short story. I read it free through my library and Hoopla. If your library provides the Hoopla service, I definitely recommend Galatea. However, I did use my free trial for Audible to read Circe because it was not available through Hoopla.

Here is my review of Galatea: {click here}
Here is my BOTM book haul that features Circe: {click here}

This novel contains some themes and scenes that may trigger other readers. 
TW/CW: violence, gore, torture, physical/emotional/child abuse, suicidal thoughts, (brief scene) self harm, graphic childbirth, (mentions of) bestiality, (mention of) incest, animal sacrifice, death of siblings, death of child/ren, death, rape, adultery, and war themes and scenes

The standalone novel, Circe, follows the nymph, goddess, and witch Circe throughout her life -- from her creation and birth until the end of her life. Over the course of her life, Circe goes through many life-changing experiences that change her as a being and help her to realize her full worth and potential. This book is about love, healing, family, motherhood, and self-love. It's about finding your truth, your true chosen family, and *magic*. 

I've always been such a big nerd for mythology -- especially Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. My love for mythology and storytelling stems from stories like The Illiad, The Odyssey, anything by Rick Riordan, Hans Christian Anderson, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, and so many more. Stories have always been such an impactful part of my childhood and have impacted what I've chosen to do with my life. Even now, I'm writing my own story that is influenced and inspired by Norse mythology. Mythology, to me, is very important because we can learn from the lessons that the characters have experienced and try to understand the struggles of others. 

Circe is known for her role as the enchantress in The Odyssey. Odysseus and his men come to her island and attempt to take advantage of her hospitality -- stealing from her, attacking her, and just generally being pigs. So, she turns them into what they are -- she turns them into stinky swine. However, Odysseus convinces her to keep him for herself and they become lovers. He also is immune to her magic because of the aid of Hermes. He becomes distracted from his quest and he stays with Circe for a year as her lover. They eventually leave, but many believe that his stay with Circe was to teach him and others who read/listen to his tale that women are irresistible seductresses who manipulate men and are threats to men's morality and lead them astray. (Which is bullshit.)

Reading Circe was such a lovely experience. I actually listened to 90% of the book and read about 10% physically. I personally enjoyed listening to it much more than reading it physically. Circe is not a speedy quick book. You can't just pick it up and read it in a day. (However, if you did do this, more power to you. This is my personal opinion and I could never read a Madeline Miller novel in one sitting.) This story is slow, but still quite fast paced. If you enjoy slower books, but they are a bit of a drag for you to physically read, I definitely recommend the audiobook. The narrator, Perdita Weeks, was PHENOMENAL! I love her work.

So much happens in this story. So many things are shown to the reader that honestly made me have to stop and put down the book/pause the audiobook. Circe goes through so many traumatic and terrifying things that I just had to sit and THINK. While this is a really great retelling of The Odyssey, it's not just a retelling! It's Circe's story! The Odyssey plays a small part in her story -- as does Odysseus -- but this is all Circe. The Odyssey is just a small part of Circe's journey to self-fulfillment and growth. 

Circe is probably one of my new favorite protagonists -- well, she's not new, but she's new to me! She's strong, she's driven, she's flawed, she's a feminist boss ass chick! I just absolutely adore her journey and I wish that I could have more from her. I aspire to be as strong, confident, magical, and independent as Circe. I love her.

Throughout the story, readers realize that any story will be told differently by whoever tells it, but it will especially be told differently if a man tells the story. Ballads and epics will always be told to favor the hero, not the heroine. Women in the stories are witches, sorceresses, and enchantresses that need to be stopped, defeated, tamed, subdued, ended, killed. Circe is like no other hero that I've heard before. She's not a hero! She's a witch, she's an enchantress, a goddess -- she's a woman! She fights for her independence and autonomy. This is a story of a woman who is fighting for her worth. 

“They do not care if you are good. They barely care if you are wicked. The only thing that makes them listen is power.”

If you are unfamiliar with Madeline Miller's writing, I definitely recommend her work. She is a true queen of mythology and retellings. With her background in classic literature, history, languages, and her immense talents in writing, you won't be disappointed.

If you haven't already gone to put your copy on hold at the library, bought it, ordered it, etc. PLEASE DO! READ THIS BOOK!

You can order a signed and personalized copy of Madeline Miller's books {here}.

I will be going to a discussion and signing for Madeline Miller toward the end of June. I am so excited! Pictures and gushes to come to my Twitter and Instagram!

Other Retellings You Would Love:

Happy reading!
~ Liv the Book Nerd ~

Thursday, June 13, 2019

{Author Guest Post} Q&A with Alexandra Villasante for the Release of The Grief Keeper

Hey, guys!

I was contacted by the lovely people over at Penguin/Putnam for the awesome blog tour for The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante! While I'm only a few pages into the story, I'm really enjoying it so far. The concepts that Villasante touches on through her work is so fascinating and I'm so excited to continue my journey through this book. If you're interested in picking up this book, feel free to follow the links down below! This book came out on the 11th! Thank you Penguin/Putnam for gifting a copy to me!

I'm so excited to share the Q&A that I did with Alexandra Villasante! She's honestly so freaking cool and I'm already in love with her writing style. 

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante: Blog Tour & Guest Post

Page Count: 320
Published on: June 11, 2019
Pages: 320 
Format: Hardcover 

Goodreads synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol's mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber's, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as "an illegal", but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi's, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn't be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn't have been caught crossing the border.

But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She's asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It's a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.

The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.


About Alexandra Villasante

Alexandra Villasante has always loved telling stories—though not always with words. She has a BFA in Painting and an MA in Combined Media (that’s art school speak for making work out of anything). Born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, Alex has the privilegio of dreaming in both English and Spanish. 
When she’s not writing, painting or chasing chickens around the yard, Alexandra plans conferences and fundraisers for non-profits. She lives with her family in the semi-wilds of Pennsylvania. You can find Alexandra on Twitter and Instagram at @magpiewrites.


Thank you so much, Alexandra for answering my questions! Enjoy, everyone!

1. What inspired you to write The Grief Keeper?

I’m something of a science-geek, despite the Fine Art degrees. I like to read articles about developing science and technology, especially if there’s a speculative aspect. I read an article about a wearable device that was being developed to alleviate some of the symptoms of PTSD—fear, anxiety, grief— in soldiers coming back from war.

Separately, I’d been thinking about my parents, who were immigrants. Though they are naturalized now and retired, they worked and sacrificed and suffered loneliness when they first came to this country. Still, they would have done almost anything to give my sister and I the best life they could.

Those two ideas collided when I asked myself: What if there were a way to erase those terrible emotions of fear, anxiety and grief? Then, thinking of how energy cannot be created or destroyed, I thought about how those emotions had to go somewhere. That’s when it came together as an idea for a book. Undesirable burdens are something we as a society place upon immigrants on a daily basis. It wasn't much of a stretch to imagine replacing physically arduous jobs like cleaning and farming with an emotionally arduous job like absorbing someone else’s grief.

2.   In your bio, you say that you’re the daughter of immigrant parents. How did your family’s culture impact your writing journey and your story in the end?

I’d started writing The Grief Keeper before the 2016 election (spoiler alert: publishing is a slo-o-ow business!) and, even though the immigrant experience has always been part of my family’s story, the results of the election, and the ensuing crack down on immigrants and asylum seekers, made me think about how differently things could have turned out for us had politics been different in my parent’s day. Headline stories of families like mine suffering separation and loss only intensified the feelings I already had about these topics. Marisol and Gabi’s story became more fraught, and their sibling love for each other became stronger through their adversity. The whole book took on more intensity, just like real life did.

3.           What does diversity in literature mean to you?

I’m on the event committee of an incredible conference called The Color of Children’s Literature. This year, the closing keynote was a conversation between Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop and Jacqueline Woodson. Needless to say, it was a privilege to listen to the wisdom and passion of these women. When it comes to diversity, Dr. Sims Bishop’s maxim of creating windows where the reader can see other cultures, races, religions and abilities along with mirrors so readers can see themselves and their experiences reflected back to them, is critical in children’s literature. It’s not a nice to have; it’s not a trend or phase. Diversity is an imperative.

4.      What is your favorite way to creatively express yourself and why?

It’s definitely writing. But I also paint and draw – sometimes when I’ve got writer’s block, I’ll sketch character or scene until I push through the block. I unashamedly love karaoke and have just this week started playing D&D for the first time. I think I’m a half-elf necromantic wizard? But I could be wrong about that…

5.   In The Grief Keeper, there seems to be a heavy focus surrounding important topics that are so relevant in our political climate. Human rights and kindness are so freaking important. I was wonder if you had a message that you would like to put out to those who will read this Q&A?

The message I have is that Marisol and Rey deserve to love and be loved and they deserve to live without fear of their lives. Everyone deserves that, whether they are seeking asylum in this country, mired in poverty or struggling with mental illness. If you read The Grief Keeper and want those things for Marisol and Rey, then hopefully, you’ll want them for people in real life who are, right now being persecuted in one way or another for who they are and who they love.



"Villasante’s engrossing debut about two Salvadoran sisters recently arrived in the U.S. opens with plenty of tension…[she] builds her novel about undocumented immigrants into a suspenseful story with credible relationships, satisfying character development, and elements of science fiction.” 
 —Publishers Weekly

 “In her debut, Villasante captures the pressures of internalized racism in immigrants…Will grip readers and provoke empathy.”
Kirkus Review

"Villasante's novel is for the reader who wants to get down and dirty with the emotional landscape, who wants a romance that is hard-earned and sweetly won. The Grief Keeper shows us trauma and grief without ever glorifying the pain or wallowing in the tragedy, creating a realistic yet still hopeful world seen through the gaze of an intelligent, curious protagonist.”
Shelf Awareness

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

{Review} On Dublin Street (Dublin Street #1) by Samantha Young


Page Count: 384
Published On: April 9, 2019
Published By: Forever
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Adult, Erotica
Source: ebook 
Where To Find It: Amazon // Book Depository 

My Rating: 2.5 stars


Goodreads synopsis:

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

Hey, guys!

I picked this up for the 2019 ebook-a-thon and I didn't manage to finish it until a couple days after the readathon ended. Here are my thoughts on this book.

On Dublin Street follows Joss as she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street. When she meets her roommate's brother, her life will never be the same. They hate each other, but they can't seem to stay away from each other. 

This book was just so meh for me. I originally enjoyed the hate-to-love premise, but the entire story was just too messy for me. This story came straight from the Fifty Shades era because the brooding, controlling dude trope was so prevalent in this story. I hated it. He was constantly getting up in Joss's space, grabbing her without her consent, lies to get his way and test her, and didn't communicate when it meant the most. Their whole relationship stemmed from the "best sex ever" (ew) and manipulation and withholding information from each other. 

Joss was also a nightmare. She was traumatized from a terrible experience in her past, but her trauma was just so cookie-cutter blah and she showed hardly any growth until the last minute because her guy "fixed her"...I just didn't like it at all. She constantly let Bradon walk all over her -- especially when it mattered. She just had no respect for herself (even if she had before). It was just so annoying. Her only personality trait was that she was either horny or emotionally detached. Annoying. 

I had hoped that I would love the side characters more than the main characters, but they were typically annoying too. Ellie -- Bradon's sister and Joss's roommate -- was sweet and adorable. I had the least amount of beef with her, but she also used manipulation and withheld information to get her way. Annoying. Adam was just as annoying and caveman-y too. He got a free pass at the end because he was just "so in love" with another character and I guess that makes up for the shitty actions from the rest of the entire book. ANNOYING!

This book was a bit of a train wreck. I had really enjoyed Samantha Young's other book Fight or Flight, so I had hoped this would be better. It wasn't. RIP.

Happy reading!

Monday, June 10, 2019

{Review + Excerpt} Waiting on Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Page Count: 320
Published On: June 11, 2019
Published By: Berkley
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult
Source: e-book via NetGalley
Where To Find It: Amazon // Book Depository 

My Rating: 3.25 stars 

Goodread synopsis:

Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.


My request on NetGalley was graciously accepted by Penguin/Berkley. Thank you Penguin/Berkley for allowing me to access this book. All thoughts and feelings are my own.

This romantic-comedy-esque novel follows 27-year-old Annie. Annie is absolutely obsessed with romantic comedies. She especially looks up to the characters that Tom Hanks plays. Because of the oodles of romantic comedies that she has watched over her life, her expectations are unreasonably high when it comes to getting into dating. When a Hollywood movie crew comes to her town to shoot a romantic comedy, Annie is coerced by her caring uncle to find a job among the crewmen. Thankfully, her uncle knows the director and gets her a job being his assistant. Through her job, she meets A-list celebrities, including the leading man. 

This was such a fun idea for a rom-com novel, however, I really didn't enjoy the constant and repetitive references to Tom Hank's movies. It would be really cute if there had been less, but it was just a bit water-logged with references. It got old quickly. 

Overall, I really liked the side characters, rather than the main character. Up until the end of the book, I just disliked her...However, that's pretty typical in any rom-com. This was fun, but I wish I had liked Annie better. (I actually know a fantastic Annie that loves movies. Check out her YouTube!) She eventually redeemed herself, but my feelings for her were really rough at the beginning.

This book was also pretty predictable but in the best rom-com way. It reminded me of the fun rom-coms from the 90s. I won't spoil anything about the actual happenings of the story because that defeats the point. You go into a rom-com with vague ideas of whether it's good in a good way or bad in a good way. The cheesiness is the point. 

This was a nice testament to the rom-com genre. I honestly haven't watched any of Tom Hanks' romantic comedies, but after reading this, I'll have to. 

This fun book comes out June 11! Pre-order your copy now before it's too late!

Here's a super fun excerpt from the book! 

Happy reading!

~Liv the Book Nerd ~

~ ~ ~

Exclusive Excerpt from the Novel:

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.
In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.
“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.
“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”
“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”
“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.
“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.
Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”
“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.
“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”
I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”
“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”
“Meet what?”
Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.
“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”
Everyone stares at her blankly.
“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.
“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.
Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”
“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.
I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”
“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.
Nick rolls his eyes.
“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”
“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”
“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.
“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.
“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”
“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”
I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”
Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”
As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.