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review 2021-10-23 05:40
If This Gets Out - Cale Dietrich,Sophie Gonzales

Ruben is part of a boy band that is hotter than ever.  They are on tour and headed to Europe.  He likes his life, well most of it.  He just wishes he could say what he wants to say.


Zach is enjoying the life the bet he can.  So what if they keep turning him down for the most important thing he wants? He is on top of the world.  Or is he?


These close friends have to navigate falling for one another amid the crazy life of the music biz.  Being best friends is great, but sometimes you want more. When they reach for each other it seems to soothe the aches. But sometimes.... you have to rock the boat.  These boys are turning to men and it is a wild ride!  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



**This ARC was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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text 2020-07-07 20:21
'My Not So Perfect Life' by Sophie Kinsella - this one's not for me
My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella

I put this aside at the 10% mark even though it's very well written. Actually, I put it aside because it's so well written.


Katie Brenner's need to reshape herself until she fits into the perfect London Life that she knows should be hers once she's earned it, was too raw for me to find it amusing. She's like Cinderella's step-sister, ready to cut off her toe to fit the glass slipper if it will win her her charmed life. 


The London that Sophie Kinsella summons up is vivid and believable. It brought back to me all the reasons I loved and hated in the five years I spent living in London. The excitement of being in one of the world's iconic cities, so often seen in movies that, like Katie, I could easily imagine myself to be on a film-set. The misery of commuting on the Tube, crammed together with people determined to pretend to ignore one another while fighting for every inch of space. I remember watching the pedestrian traffic flood over London Bridge and hearing Elliot's poem in my head:


Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.


Sophie Kinsella gives this a more humorous tone but still captures the purgatory that is the London commute.


Then the is the creative agency that Katie works in. The way Sophie Kinsella described it brought back to me all the meetings I've had with marketing people who pushed 'creativity' as a reason why what they were recommending didn't have to make any sense.


All of that was in the first hour of an eleven-hour book. I hope life gets better for Katie and that she leave the insanity of London and the Chimera of its perfection far behind but it touches too many sore points in my own history for me to want to travel along with her.


If you're up for the journey, I recommend the audiobook version. Fiona Hardingham does a wonderful job with the narration. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

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text 2020-06-14 18:13
Reading progress update: I've read 78%.
Only Mostly Devastated - Sophie Gonzales

So when something really horrible happened in Ollie's life, who did he turn to? Not his parents who have failed to give him proper emotional support at every opportunity in this book. No, he ran straight into the arms of his love interest who had been treating him horribly the entire book. And right after Ollie had finally decided that he deserved to be treated better. Unfortunately, his support system was not great, so his choices for people to turn to were very limited.

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text 2020-06-14 16:30
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
Only Mostly Devastated - Sophie Gonzales

I think the best parent in Ollie's life is his aunt. She listened to him about his relationship problems and then got him to see that things weren't about him. Ollie was mad at the guy he liked, Will, for ignoring him after finding out Ollie's family had ended up staying in the area instead of going back to California like Will had thought. The thing was, when Will learned this, he also found out at the same time that Ollie had told multiple girls at their school that Will wasn’t straight when Will isn't out to anyone and understandably freaked out about this. Will had told Ollie he wasn't out to his family and, when he talked to Ollie later after calming down, explained that he's afraid his family will cut him off if they find out he's not straight. So Will was worrying about his survival. Ollie's aunt kindly reminded Ollie that not everyone had accepting families like Ollie did and he couldn't force someone to be ready to come out on his timetable.


As for Ollie's bio parents, well... Ollie tried to go to his mom for relationship advice. In response to a serious question, she sang "Let It Be" by the Beatles from start to finish and expected Ollie to listen to the whole thing. And that was her only answer. Ollie made a mental note to never try going to her for relationship advice again.


There's only been a single appearance of the dad and it was not good. He came in at about 40%. It was in the middle of the night and the aunt had to go to the hospital suddenly, so the parents were going to drop Ollie off at their house to watch his cousins while all the adults wen to the hospital. He came in Ollie's room and started screaming at him over nothing and eventually started cursing. He continued screaming over nothing until they left in separate cars. I understand this was a stressful situation, and you're not going to be at your best, but that doesn't make it right to take it out on someone else, especially your kid. It's even worse with Ollie's narration about it. We learn the cursing was a new thing that the dad had never done before, but Ollie said there's no point talking to him when he's like that, suggesting the screaming happened often enough that Ollie knew what to expect and how he needed to act around him to get through it. I've not seen any other scenes with the dad, so I don't have any other scenes to compare. This was all the author gave me - the dad screaming at the son a lot in a single, short scene and the implication that this happened regularly.


So my one impression of the dad was that horrible scene, and the mom has had a few scenes that I feel were supposed to come across as funny or quirky, but mostly made me sad for Ollie.

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text 2020-06-12 19:57
Only Mostly Devastated - Sophie Gonzales
Rebel - Beverly Jenkins

I'm doing romances today. One contemporary YA and one historical. I have yet to meet the love interest in Only Mostly Devastated, so I don't know how that romance will go, but I've met the two main characters in Rebel and I love them both.

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