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review 2019-01-15 23:51
Was More Interested in Secondary Characters
From Mum With Love - Louise Emma Clarke

Please note that I received this ARC for free from NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 

 

I ended up giving this three stars because I think the author can definitely write. I just think that I was more interested in Jess's sister and her best friend more than I was with her and her trying to find fulfillment writing a mommy blog. I think it didn't help that Jess was shrill and generally unfair to her husband throughout mos of the book and also angry that a rival blogger wasn't opening her arms to her. A times you think it's the first time she ever had someone that didn't like her. The other reason why I gave this three stars is that the letters to her daughter/blog entries were actually written very well and made me smile, laugh, and tear up at times. If it had just been that, I would have given this book five stars. 

 

Jess is a stay at home mother dealing with her 14 month old daughter. Jess realizes that staying at home isn't all it's cracked up to be. She feels tired and resentful that her husband gets to leave all day and barely seems to be around to be around their daughter. When her husband encourages to do a mommy blog (a subject that came up some other time) Jess is surprised to see that people really want to hear what she has to say. Quickly gaining internet fame and followers, Jess is quickly set up against the queen of all mommy bloggers, Tiggy, a childhood friend. 


I think the book playing into the rivalry really wasn't a thing besides here and there. Most of this book was about Jess learning what is important and being there for her sister and her friend. I thought at times though Jess was being a brat and unreasonable. She needed people to tell her how good she was every single minute it felt like it.

 

The secondary characters took up a bit in this book and not complaining because I liked them, but Clarke should have pushed the rivarly more. Maybe have Jess do a huge messed up viral moment and deal with being "cancelled" by people.

 

I thought the writing was good, but have to say that I wish that Clarke had talked more about how someone is popular for a moment before the internet moves onto someone else. Also I am going to say it, it seems really odd to have a blog be a huge influencer these days. Most people are on Instagram, twitter, snapchat, etc. So the book missed the boat to not even have those come into play. I can't recall the last time I went out and read a lifestyle blog. I just follow people on Instagram because I like the pictures/writing content that way. The only thing I read is Apartment Therapy, Cup of Jo, and Domino. 

 

The flow was good. I liked the book having Jess in the present, with her typing up letters she had written to her daughter before and after she was born. 

 

The ending left some things up in the air (mostly with Jess and one of her best friend) but I think we are supposed to take away things are going to work out. 

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review 2019-01-15 23:19
The Book Was Free
Big Sexy Love - Kirsty Greenwood

Yeah, I said it.

 

Right now I am on a zero dollar book budget, which isn't that bad. I am reading things that I may have passed up on. Though now I am like, girl, get better taste in free books.

 

"Big Sexy Love" could have been so much better. I think in the end too many absurd things were happening and Greenwood lost the plot. And I liked the idea behind the plot so much. I also wish we spent more time with Birdie. Birdie was a great character, and we only get glimpses into her. I wish that Greenwood had included more scenes/dialogue with Birdie and Olive. I found myself loving the letters in the end and that Olive didn't just run after a dude. Other than that, I felt that this was an okay book to pass the time with.

 

"Big Sexy Love" has Olive Brewster going to New York to track down her best friend Birdie's ex who was her big sexy love. One wonders why Birdie can't do it, but you quickly find out that Birdie is dying, and it really will be up to Olive to track down Birdie's ex and give him a letter from her to him. Only issue is that Olive loves her routines (works at the fishmonger and goes home to watch Big Bang Theory with her brother and his pain the butt girlfriend) so traveling to New York isn't going to be an easy thing for her.

Olive meets a cast of thousands it seems, but she manages to shake up her routine and pushes through in order to make sure she keeps her promise to Birdie.

 

Olive was not a sympathetic character at times. We find out her parents separated and acted like jerks. So now she is living with her brother in their childhood home. the girlfriend is a nasty jerk, but she was still saying little truths here and there about Olive and her inability to take care of herself. I think if we didn't keep jumping from absurdity to absurdity the book would have worked better for me. Olive is almost arrested, arrested, and just running from scene to scene. We don't get to see her really take in New York except for here and there. I didn't like her love interest because guys who act like assholes are not my thing. 

 

The secondary characters are merely there to prop up Olive or be an impediment. The only one who is there and shines in this is Birdie. I do wish that Greenwood had worked with what she had more. The best friendship of Birdie and Olive are really the only parts of the book that worked.


The writing was so-so. I think that happening each chapter start with a text from someone in Olive's life didn't work that well. Also including twitter messages from one tertiary character was too much. The flow was pretty awful though. We just have ebbs and flows and nothing really works until the last 10 percent or so.

 

The setting moving from London to New York felt a bit blah to me. I just needed more color. Greenwood does at times have Olive pay attention to her setting. But it felt like a weird New York where everyone (mostly) is super helpful and things are apparently cheap as hell.

 

The ending was a surprise and I honestly think the epilogue was written very well. 

 

 

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review 2019-01-15 15:44
Self help or self destruction?
Help Me! - Marianne Power Help Me! - Marianne Power
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers
Money, A Love Story: Untangling Your Finances, Creating the Life You Really Want, and Living Your Purpose - Kate Northrup
The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way - John C. Parkin
Earth Angels - Doreen Virtue
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change - Stephen R. Covey
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Eckhart Tolle
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brené Brown
You Can Heal Your Life - Louise L. Hay

Marianne decides to explore 12 popular self-help books over 12 months at the beginning of one year and discovers that they're not always helpful.

 

If you're like me you've read a lot of self-help books and occasionally taken a few pieces of advice from them before inertia and time spent doing other things moves you away from the book.  I keep meaning to do a Kondo-esque tidy but it would require more of my energy than I'm willing to devote to it.  I do question if it sparks joy of things I'm putting away and I've removed a few things from my house as I'm asking that question.  (I also remind myself that I deserve better than the things that don't work on my skin or in my life etc.).  I also listen to the excellent By the Book Podcast and often agree with a lot of their points about the ones I've read.

 

The Books she chooses are: Feel the Fear and do it anyway; Money a love story; The Secret; F**k it: the ultimate spiritual way; Angels with Doreen Virtue; 7 Habits of Highly effective people; Power of Now; Get the Guy; Daring Greatly and You can heal your life.  She strugles with depression and becoming a bit of a self-centred ass for a while and all the time her very Irish mammy trys to steer her on a good path.

 

Like me she finds things that resonate in books and sometimes she obsesses a bit and I couldn't abandon my life for a year like she did to look inward but by the end she's less broken, mostly by connecting with the people who are real in her life.

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review 2019-01-15 03:22
Review: Wrong Bed, Right Roommate by Rebecca Brooks
Wrong Bed, Right Roommate (Accidental Love #1) - Rebecca Brooks

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Falling for your best friend’s sibling is one of my favorite romance tropes, which is why I couldn’t resist picking up Wrong Bed, Right Roommate. Rebecca Brooks has kicked off her Accidental Love series with a sexy forbidden romance.

I have the greatest affection for tightly-wound heroines and Jessie definitely fits the bill. She’s driven, obsessively organized, and determined to be successful now that she’s got her chance to get her foot in the door of New York publishing. Jessie does need to learn to loosen up a bit, and that’s where Shawn comes in. Shawn is Jessie’s opposite in most ways and I admit I had a harder time connecting with him. He has been selfish in the past and has treated the women in his life as fairly disposable, but he recognizes his behavior and is determined to turn his life around which I did like. Shawn also has a tendency to be so laid-back that he can be fairly irresponsible, to the point where I had trouble believing the ending of this story. I don’t want to say too much and spoil the book, but while there was some genuine growth in Shawn’s character, at times his progress didn’t feel earned. Perhaps a bit more time spent with him might have made him feel a bit more believable by the end.

Lust and close quarters are the kick Jessie and Shawn need to “break the rules” and fall into bed. Their romance was solid and there was some nice emotional development, but it felt a bit flat to me. There wasn’t anything particularly new or fresh about the romance to make it stand out, nor were the dialogue or the chemistry between the leads exciting enough to make me simply sit back and enjoy watching beloved tropes play out. I’ve adored Ms. Brooks’s books in the past and I know she can pack and emotional punch, but Jessie and Shawn just fell a bit short of the mark. All the elements were there and the story was good, but I did finish Wrong Bed, Right Roommate feeling like I wanted a bit more.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2019/01/review-wrong-bed-right-roommate-by.html
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review 2019-01-14 21:42
Book Review
Love and Other Words - Christina Lauren

I love this author and I really enjoyed this book. Fair warning it's fairly heartbreaking. If you love Emily Griffin books, I think you'll love Christina Lauren, she really has a knack for writing characters that you'll fall in love with. 

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