"I'd put this on the low end of 4 stars - maybe even 3.75 stars. I loved Clare and everything from her child-like perspective. Her love of books and her thoughtful way of viewing life. I found Cornelia incredibly annoying though. She had some good moments, but overall the sappiness was too much. Blegh.
There was definitely good writing in there, and I'm still excited to continue in the series to get to the last book which is highly recommended." - katelynn
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The Bookshop on the Corner (Scottish Bookshop, #1)
"If reading a book is like consuming a meal then this book is purely dessert. I loved it - so feel-good and relatable as an avid reader, a great setting and interesting characters. The romance brought the ending down a little for me, but like dessert I think I had just had too much by that point. Too much sweet." - katelynn
"4.5. What a sweet love story! I completely connected with the narrator and often found myself in tears as she expressed her difficulties in navigating the world. I felt a similar connection to the narrator of The Rosie Project - another romance novel containing people with spectrum disorders.
The last few chapters had me heart-sick - reliving trauma we've all had to go through. I agree with others' reviews that the ending was abrupt, but I think her personal journey had concluded.
This would have been 5 stars if not for the level of steam - too much for my taste. It's a shame - I really felt like the detail there detracted from the story." - katelynn
"This book hit two sweet spots for me: fascinating and complex characters, and beautiful language. And I love relationships that turn around! I do think all of the blurbs I’ve read summarizing this have done terrible job. " - katelynn
This was a surprise hit for me! I did not have high hopes - reading it only because of book club. I love Jane Austen books but I am by no means a super-fan and I generally avoid any "fan fiction". I could go without excessive talking about her too, but this book!
It has such a rich cast of characters. They had such complex issues, I was rushing to the end to see them grow and find some peace. I loved watching them make connections with each other and the way books provided a bridge across such huge social, economical and age divides." - katelynn
"Although I didn't love this one as much as the last one, it was still great. Her writing is so RICH and romantic. It sweeps you along, puts you right into a setting with all of its feelings." - katelynn
"This story plunged me right back into that wonderful, magical Waverly world. Even the most simple plotlines (and this was a very simple story) are completely enchanting! I certainly don't think this followup novel was as riveting as the first, but I still loved it. Sweet characters, beautiful language, easy-to-relate-to issues handled in thoughtful ways, all wrapped up in a lovely package with just the littlest bit of magic." - katelynn
I loved this so much - as I knew I would. Liane Moriarty has yet to disappoint. She just gets it! She understands parenting, she understands relationships.
This book had a broad cast of interesting, flawed, funny characters. She showed and gave grace for the different types of mothers in the world. And there was a truly shocking twist in the last second! So so fun." - katelynn
"The chemistry! Oh man, this author deals with hard issues (pain and grief and betrayal) in a charming setting with one of the most engaging romances I've read in a while. Well done!" - katelynn
"From the very beginning, I was completely endeared to the narrator. I rooted for him so much the whole book - I loved the way he thought through things and undertook personal growth so methodically. My heart broke for him, wanted to hug him and encourage him at so many points along the way.
Although this book won't change my life, the experience of it was so incredibly heart-warming and fun that it's an easy 5-stars. It's also lead to some interesting discussions on Asperger's and what it means to be "in love" - which have been very edifying!" - katelynn
"I would initially categorize this book as a guilty pleasure, but (1) I don't believe in guilty pleasures with books. Don't feel guilty! You like what you like! And (2) it was actually pretty decent. It had a lot of depth - told from the perspective of a widow with young children (a position my mom was in when she was 30 years old). I feel like the emotions and process she went through was pretty authentic. And with most chic lit, it was very entertaining and a breeze to get through.
It gets a three from me because of this breakdown in my ratings: 5 - Love it, will probably read it again and recommend to others. 4 - Enjoyed it a lot, probably won't read it again but will recommend it to some people. 3 - Finished it, sometimes enjoyed it. Wouldn't recommend to most. 2 - I never have twos because if I think a book is going to be a two, I don't finish it.
I was very entertained this book but probably wouldn't recommend it unless you already love chic lit. I used to read it a lot as a teenager but now it's just too much cringing." - katelynn
"Joshilyn Jackson has quickly gotten herself into my top 5 favorite authors. This is my third novel I've read by her, and as with the others it's given me all the feels.
I didn't connect with the protagonist right away (similar to some of Jackson's other novels) but by the end I understood her and was rooting for her. I love the way a new, unusual sort of family was pieced together out of so much brokenness. It was so beautiful and moving! There were lots of tears with this ending." - katelynn
"This was the perfect way to indulge my secret bachelorette craving without actually having to watch real-life horrible people act so dumb. For anyone who has ever enjoyed anything in that franchise, this is a must read! It was sweet and had a lot of real moments for a book I'd consider to be my "junk food" reading. " - katelynn
This was wonderful. A few notches above normal chick-lit. It wasn't your typical rom-com that only lightly touches on some difficult issues. The difficult issues were central, they were important. The characters were charming but also struggling. And there was enough humor to grease the wheels." - katelynn
"I did not connect with protagonist for a while into the book, so it took me some time to get into it. But once I did I could not be stopped! There is a central conflict/mystery in the book and towards the end I found myself thinking, "These characters and the stories of their relationships growing and changing are so good, I don't really care if the mystery gets resolved." 👏 The romantic scenes had 0% cheese and 100% sweetness, it was the best. I loved watching the protagonist grow in her feelings of motherhood and her vision / calling for her own life. It was inspiring!
The idea of a Second South was a very helpful illustration. It's one I'll have to chew on for a while." - katelynn
"4.5 - Perfectly lovely. Everything about this synopsis screams Hallmark Movie! But what you get is actually well-written and anything but cliche. Every moment that could’ve been kitschy, the author managed to make sweet, genuine and insightful. I ate this one up!" - katelynn
"4.5- This book is shockingly great! It has the dressing of a typical romantic dime-a-dozen chick-lit novel - which I have nothing against. But boy, the ending is so surprising in the best way!
It starts out a lot like One Day in December, which I abandoned. What kept me going in this one, (even though the overarching plot was slightly predictable), was the great writing. And then in end it takes a complete left turn, which I LOVE. There is a lot of depth to this novel." - katelynn
"This was everything that a retelling (in this case, Pride and Prejudice) should be. It was loosely in the same structure and had some nice dialog moments that specifically called back to the original. It was similar enough to recognize the retelling but not too similar to feel unnecessary.
The characters had depth, and I enjoyed being immersed in a culture I don't know a lot about. I learned a lot.
It wasn't a slam dunk for me, but it was close!" - katelynn
"Wow, so many emotions. This is a story and a perspective that I will chew on for a while. Even though I called the ending from the very beginning, it was still completely engrossing. Very well written and careful handling of a difficult topic." - katelynn
"3.5 I immediately connected with the protagonist on this one. The story ended quite sad, surprisingly. Some of the plot points were a bit far-fetched, but overall it was a sweet message." - katelynn
"This was light and fun, with enough humor and cheese to satisfy every rom-com lover. I ate this up! I found this a perfect palate cleanser between heavier books. I could've done with a bit less steaminess (it just felt gratuitous at times), but overall I loved the characters and the relationships!" - katelynn
"This was sappy and sweet and silly (although some of the content was definitely serious and treated with respect). Chick lit that is entertaining and at times thought provoking but not life-changing." - katelynn
"A quick and entertaining read. It has great characters and an interesting mystery that keeps you guessing. Very heartwarming! I'll definitely be checking out more by this author." - katelynn