Book Review: Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received this book from Little, Brown Book Group UK, Piatkus via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Life’s Too Short
Series: The Friend Zone #3
Author: Abby Jimenez
Genre: Romance
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 384 pages
Release Date: 6th April 2021
Goodreads Amazon / Waterstones

Summary

When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn’t expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn’t just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn’t want to take anything for granted.

But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter, life goes from ‘daily adventure’ to ‘hourly nappy change’. The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she’d be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua.

Now she’s feeling things she’s vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see.

Overview

‣ POV: 1st dual pov

‣ Summary in Emojis: ❤️⏳👶🍼📹✈️

My Thoughts

I have such an up and down relationship with Abby Jimenez. I wasn’t keen on her debut, The Friend Zone but her second novel, The Happy Ever After Playlist is probably one of my favourite romance books of all time. I consider the hero, Jason, to be in my top 5 book boyfriends 😂

I fully went into this one expecting to love it, and I definitely enjoyed most of Life’s Too Short. The characters are wonderful and relatable, they both had real problems to overcome and I adored how they formed a friendship-first, lovers-later kind of relationship, it showed true organic growth as their feelings for each other developed. I really felt for Vanessa right from the start, her fears and worries, and her determination to overcome it all and just live her life were inspiring. It was so satisfying to see how her world view started influencing Adrian, opening him up to more than just work and letting him have fun too.

Speaking of Adrian, our hero is definite swoon-material. He’s kind, funny and very caring, always helping Vanessa whenever she needs it. I loved the scenes where he and Vanessa cared for baby Grace, although I did have some issues with how Grace was treated. Essentially she gets side-lined for a lot of the book and treated more as a prop than an actual character. I understand that it’s hard to properly integrate a baby into a romance story but it still felt a bit lazy to just keep saying ‘oh Grace is with a babysitter’.

The other thing I had a problem with is that there were far too many serious issues crammed into one book. Each of the previous novels dealt with one main problem, The Friend Zone was about infertility, The Happy Ever After Playlist was about overcoming grief. This was one has the ALS plot, drug abuse, child abandonment, mental health and a couple of others and it all just felt like too much. And then the ending pulled another Friend Zone which I’m not a fan of.

Even with those few problems regarding the plot and the epilogue though I can honestly say that I really enjoyed Life’s too Short. The romance and friendship was perfect, the characters were wonderful and I would highly recommend this to fans of romantic comedies, particularly those who like a more serious, deeper storyline.

Book Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received this book from Hodder & Stoughton via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Spin the Dawn
Series: The Blood of Stars #1
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 395 pages
Release Date: 4th March 2021
Goodreads Amazon / Waterstones

Summary

On the fringes of the Great Spice Road, Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land – but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. Then a royal messenger summons her ailing father to court, and Maia seizes her chance. Disguised as a man, she travels to the Summer Palace in her father’s place to compete for the emperor’s favour, and the coveted position of imperial tailor.

If Maia’s ruse is discovered, her life will be forfeit. But if she wins, she will achieve her greatest dream.

Yet nothing could have prepared her for the challenge ahead: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s bride-to-be. One from the laughter of the sun, one from the tears of the moon, and one from the blood of stars.

Accompanied by the mysterious court enchanter, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise, Maia’s journey will take her to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Overview

‣ POV: 1st person

‣ Summary in Emojis: 🏯✂️👘✨🦅

‣ Trigger and Content Warnings: some violence

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this Mulan-esque tale of Maia, the daughter of a once-famous tailor, who takes his place in a competition to earn not only money to secure their future, but also fame and glory. I loved that Maia was so invested in herself, so proud of her work and wanting to show it of, whilst also working hard to help her family. Her motives and reasoning for everything were clear throughout and she made for a wonderful heroine you could truly root for. She has clear flaws and weaknesses but it’s admirable to see her overcome them–she would make a wonderful role model for teen readers.

This book is almost split into two parts, there’s the beginning where Maia comes to the palace to take place in the competition, which I did like, but then it transforms into this epic journey as she must travel to create three divine dresses–and this, for me, was where the story truly took off. The setting is outstanding and truly matches up to its gorgeous cover.

Regarding the romance, there is definitely a love story here but I don’t want to spoil too much about it, I will say it was very swoony and the two made a wonderful couple. I can’t wait to read more about them in the sequel!

I highly recommend this to fans of YA fantasy, it definitely stands out not just for it’s setting (which it gorgeous and fully realised), but also for its strong heroine and brilliantly thought-out plot.

Book Review: Last Night by Mhairi MacFarlane

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received this book from HarperCollins UK via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Last Night
Series: N/A
Author: Mhairi MacFarlane
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 405 pages
Release Date: 1st April 2021
Goodreads Amazon / Waterstones

Summary

Two best friends.
One missed chance.
And a night that changes everything.
Eve, Justin, Susie and Ed have been friends since they were eighteen. Now in their 30s, the four are still as close as ever, Thursday pub quiz night is still sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed.

Maybe Eve should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed sometimes thinks about it too.

Then one night, in an instant, all their lives change forever. And, as Eve learns she didn’t know her friends as well as she thought, she also discovers she isn’t the only person keeping secrets…

Overview

‣ POV: 1st person

‣ Summary in Emojis: 💌❤️😢

‣ Trigger and Content Warnings: here

Read More »

Book Review: Just The Way I Am by Jo Watson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I received this book from Headline Eternal via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Just The Way I Am
Series: N/A
Author: Jo Watson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 384 pages
Goodreads / Amazon / Waterstones

Summary

Has Fate given her a second chance?

‘Zoe’ is having a very bad day. As if getting trapped in a faulty elevator wasn’t bad enough, losing her memory has made it much worse. If there’s one piece of luck, it’s that the paramedic on the scene, Noah, is both kind and a handsome distraction…

Now a completely blank canvas, with the help of Noah, ‘Zoe’ is excited to fill her world with colour, creativity and sweet and spicy food. She just knows from the tips of her toes, right to her fleek brows, that these things were all part of her make-up.

But when her identity is traced, the life ‘Zoe’ was living before the accident bears no resemblance to that of the person she’s convinced she is. What happened to make her world so narrow and colourless?

And now she has the chance to start over, is it time to let the real Zoe out?

Overview

‣ POV: 1st person

‣ Summary in Emojis: 😂❤️😬🤯⌛🚑

‣ Trigger and Content Warnings: death, drugs, alcohol, sexual imagery.

Read More »

WWW Wednesday

Ooof! My poor blog, you have been sorely neglected!

I have been in the worst book slump ever. I think after reading and absolutely adoring Natasha Pulley’s books I went into a bit of a book hangover that just got worse over time.

Prior to this week I’d not been able to finish any of the books I started and instead I’ve been spending all my time bingeing anime and manga. Thankfully my book slump seems to petering out *crosses fingers* and I’ve managed to finish a couple of the ARCs I’ve had piling up on Netgalley. I’m planning on posting a couple of reviews over the coming weeks but I thought the best thing to get me back into the swing of things would be to do a quick and simple tag!

Read More »

ARC Check In: February ’21

I debated whether to actually do a check in for this month because my ARC situation hasn’t really changed much. Like I said in my Life Update, due to being so poorly all the time I didn’t actually get much reading done at all in February. But then I also did want to try and make this a regular thing and missing out one month will probably bug me in the future 😂

So! Here we are with this month’s check in…

Read More »