Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren Review

Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren follows Macy Sorenson, whose father buys a cabin in the woods after her mother’s death. There, Macy meets Elliot Petropoulos and their relationship slowly develops from a friendship bonded over books to something more. However, one night changes everything, and it isn’t until eleven years and an engagement later that the two meet again.

I was on the fence about reading Love & Other Words. On one hand, I have heard amazing reviews for Love & Other Words and have seen that many Christina Lauren fans regard it as one of their favorites by the author duo. On the other hand, I have encountered several misses from this pair recently, including Something Wilder, which I did not finish last year. While I did overall enjoy Love & Other Words, I did not quite love it as much as I expected.

One aspect of Love & Other Words that I enjoyed was the dual timeline. This story takes place in present day, but also gives flashbacks to different parts of the relationship between Macy and Elliot. Sometimes, I am not a huge fans of dual timelines because they can disrupt the pace of the story if not executed well. However, I do think Christina Lauren did a good job of including scenes which showed the progression of Macy and Elliot’s relationship. In a romance novel, I want to believe that the love interests are meant to be together, and by the end of the novel, I did see Macy and Elliot as soulmates.

Additionally, I appreciated the emotional impact of this story and the emphasis on family throughout the novel. What happens to Macy’s family is tragic, but there is so much love readers see in such a short amount of time. Macy also has sort of a found family through Elliot, who still love and care for her after time passes. In the past, I have read books by this author which lean more lighthearted, so I didn’t necessarily anticipate all of the emotional moments throughout this novel. That being said, I think the emotional aspect of this novel was very well executed.

On the other hand, this created a lack on tension in the novel. At the beginning of the story, both Macy and Elliot are in relationships. While Elliot quickly ends his relationship, Macy stays engaged. However, Macy’s partner has a very flippant view of the situation. It seemed that he didn’t really care what Macy chose. Besides the major event which originally caused their split, this was the only other major obstacle which kept them apart. Even though the author’s tried to create parallels between Macy’s situation with her partner’s past to make his lack of concern seem understandable, it resulted it in a weak portion of the plot.

Another aspect of the novel which hindered my enjoyment was the ending of the novel. Throughout the story, it hints at a major event which triggered the demise of Macy and Elliot’s relationship. It was a shocking reveal, despite clues sprinkled throughout the story, so I do give kudos to Christen Lauren for planning that aspect of the story. On the other hand, the authors drop a massive emotional event onto readers… just to end the story with a quick resolution that doesn’t match the weight of what they just read. It was hard for me to believe that situation which resulted in eleven years of separation could easily be resolved with one conversation. This created an incredibly disappointing end to the story for me.

Overall, Love & Other Words had some aspects that I enjoyed and appreciated. However, there were some aspects of the novel which I found to be weak. I give this book three and a half out of five stars.

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Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade Review

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade is the third book in the Spoiler Alert series, which follows various cast members of a popular fantasy television show throughout the filming of the series. This book focuses on Maria and Peter, two cast members who play love interests and must film together on a remote island after a hookup. Throughout the years of filming, Maria and Peter develop feelings for each other, but question a relationship due to their pasts.

Overall, I haven’t been a huge fan of the Spoiler Alert series. While I typically enjoy the characters which Olivia Dade writes, I am not a huge fan of her writing style. Often, I find the books in this series to not be well-paced, which causes the story to drag. Additionally, I typically find many scenes and conversations to be repetitive, which stops the story from moving forward. Unfortunately, I had many similar issues with Ship Wrecked, the third installment of the series.

One aspect of Ship Wrecked which I enjoyed were the two main characters, Maria and Peter. I enjoyed that Maria always stayed true to herself and would not compromise her morals just to move forward in Hollywood. I appreciated that Maria has a bright, extroverted, optimistic, and confident personality which made her stand out from other characters in the same genre. Additionally, I enjoyed Peter as a male lead character. In romance book, it annoys me when the male characters are “too perfect” with their words and actions. At first, I found Peter very unlikable from his early interactions with Maria and his unwillingness to back her up in order to suit his own needs. While his actions aren’t excusable, it allows his character to undergo a lot of growth throughout the novel.

That being said, I do have mixed feelings towards the relationship between Maria and Peter. On one hand, I enjoyed that many of the disagreements and bumps in the road of their relationship were realistic. The two love interests in this book have two very different views of the world. Based on experiences in their pasts, they have insecurities which appear periodically throughout their relationships. On the other hand, I found these issues to be resolved a little too quickly at the end of the novel. Maria and Peter eventually understand the other person’s perspective at the end of the novel and agree to a compromise in order to keep their careers and their relationship. While I like Maria and Peter and saw them take action to maintain their relationship, I felt like each character made too much sacrifice from what they personally wanted in life to keep their relationship. Even though I was told that these characters would be together forever and ever, I found it hard to believe that they wouldn’t start to resent each other later in life.

A part of this book which frustrated me was the pacing and structure in this novel as well as the series as a whole. This book takes place during the six years of filming for the series and then right before the final season airs. The beginning of this book was stronger than the end of the book for me. When the book reached the current time, the story started to drag with many repetitive scenes and conversations where Maria and Peter speculated about their future careers and relationship with each other. Plot-wise, there wasn’t much moving the story forward, which caused the story to drag, only to end with a very rushed and unsatisfying conclusion to the relationship which I previously mentioned. Additionally, while I did enjoy the beginning of the book more than the end, I felt like it could have been shortened to only feature important scenes which gave readers a better understanding of their relationship.

Some of these issues could have been resolved if written in a different story structure. I feel like the pacing of this story could have been improved if written in the present day with the beginning of the novel appearing as flashbacks throughout the story. As a whole, I’ve had issues with the timeline of this series. Typically, contemporary companion series follow a very linear timeline where once one story ends, the next picks up where the last one left off. However, this isn’t the case with the Spoiler Alert series. In this series, all of the novels occur at the same time, so they will occur at the same time as many major plot points from previous book. For example, part of Ship Wrecked occurs before any of the events in Spoiler Alert, the first book in the series, but then has parts of the novel take place during a major plot point which happens in All the Feels, the second book of the series. As a reader, this made it difficult for me to keep track of what point I was at in the timeline of the overall series, not just in the book that I was currently reading.

While I liked the characters of the book, I did not enjoy this book as a whole. The second half was particularly difficult for me to get through because I felt like nothing was propelling me to the end. I give Ship Wrecked two and a half out of five stars.

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace Review

My feelings towards Icebreaker are a little cold.

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace follows Anastasia Allen, an aspiring Olympic ice skater, after an incident at college forces her to share an ice rink with the hockey team. When Anastasia’s partner is injured, she must team up with Nathan Hawkins, the annoying hockey team captain in order to train for a competition. Despite Anastasia’s aversions to hockey players, she develops feelings for Nathan.

I first heard of Icebreaker through BookTok and was drawn in by the cute, illustrated cover. After reading the description, it appeared that Icebreaker would be a cute, sports romance similar to The Cutting Edge, a popular 90s movie where an ice skater must rely on a hockey player to compete in the Olympics. While IceBreaker had an interesting premise, I found the execution to be lacking.

One aspect that hindered Icebreaker’s success was the editing. Icebreaker is slightly over 400 pages, which is not a typical length for a book in the romance genre. While books do not necessarily have to fit the mold of their genres, I find that most romance books which push over the 400 mark suffer from issues plot and pacing. Unfortunately, these were two major issues which interfered with my reading experience.

While I was reading Icebreaker, the description of the plot in the synopsis did not match the contents inside the novel. From the book’s description, I assumed that Icebreaker would primarily focus on Anastasia and Nathan working together in order to prepare for Anastasia’s competition. Following traditional novel structure, this inciting incident should occur early in the book. However, this did not occur until halfway through the novel. Once this situation occurred, only a small portion of the book focused on Anastasia and Nathan working together. I believe if these events occurred sooner and the middle of the novel focused on Anastasia and Nathan’s iceskating and romantic relationship, then the book would have been more successful and more accurate to the synopsis provided by publishers.

Since the plot didn’t adhered to typical story structure for the romance genre, it did not seem to have a coherent structure. When I read a romance book, I like to see the scenes build upon each other. Each scene should show the love interests challenging each other’s false belief about love, and as a result, the characters develop a deeper relationship. I did not find this to occur in Icebreaker. Instead, Icebreaker seemed to have scenes that either centered around popular tropes or situations that you would find in a romance novel, but the scenes weren’t necessarily connected to each other. Additionally, the two love interests start a relationship fairly early in the novel, which decreased tension throughout the story. The scenes in Icebreaker didn’t offer anything new or unique to the book compared to other books in the same genre, so I never felt incredibly close to the characters in those scenes. To me, it felt like I was supposed to believe in the relationship between Anastasia and Nathan purely based on cute moments which they shared as opposed to them developing an authentic romantic relationship.

These issues with the plot resulted in issues with the book’s pacing. Since the main action occurred late in the story, I felt unmotivated to continue reading this book. Many of the scenes at the beginning of the novel were also repetitive, which made the beginning of the story drag on for too long. I think this book would have benefitted from more edition to take out scenes that weren’t purposeful to the story and to make the beginning of the novel tighter. That being said, I did enjoy the last 15% of the book. The events at the end of the story happen quicker and are more tightly written, which made the story easier to read.

Apart from my issues with the plot, I also had several issues with the characters of the novel as one. One, there were just too many! Looking on Goodreads, it appears that the Icebreaker will be the first book in a contemporary romance series surrounding the characters at this college. It is fairly common now for contemporary romances to be turned into series following characters previously mentioned in the original book. That being said, it was fairly obvious in Icebreaker that this was the case. There were so many characters introduced that it was hard to keep track of the characters and their backstories. Additionally, this led to many subplots that weren’t necessarily important to the story. Since Icebreaker already suffered from an inconsistent plot and long length, some of these characters and plots could have been introduced later on in the series rather than all dumped within the first novel.

As for the two main characters, Anastasia and Nathan, I needed more depth. Anastasia and Nathan remind me a lot of other characters from similar novels. As a result, they read as cardboard cutout characters from the genre. Anastasia is a Type A, sarcastic heroine who “isn’t like other girls” because of her casual relationships. Nathan is a player with a heart of gold who will drop anything for Anastasia. Also, the relationship between these two characters was very plot-based as opposed to character-based. For example, Anastasia and Nathan do not reveal their true feelings towards each other after a life-threatening situation that occurs randomly in the book. Personally, I prefer relationships in a romance novel to be a mix where a situation drives the characters together, but choices that they make as a character deepen their relationship. Since Anastasia and Nathan’s relationship was so plot based and I had so many issues with the plot, this hindered my investment in their relationship.

Overall, Icebreaker missed the mark on many areas that I look for in a romance novel. To be honest, if I hadn’t purchased this book, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. While I did enjoy the last part of the novel, the rest of the novel did not meet my expectations. I give Icebreaker 2 out of 5 stars.

The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas Review

A few variables needed to change in order to make The American Roommate Experiment successful.

The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas follows Rosie Graham, an ex-engineer turned romance author, who is struggling to write her next bestseller. When an accident makes her apartment uninhabitable, she decides to stay at her friend’s place until construction finishes. However, her friend’s charming cousin, Lucas, is also staying in the apartment. Not only do Rosie and Lucas agree to share the space, but Lucas also promises to take Rosie on four fake dates in order to inspire her latest novel.

The American Roommate Experiment is the second book in The Spanish Love Deception companion series. The two main characters of The Spanish Love Deception do play a role in the second half of this book. If you prefer to read books in a companion series in order, I would check out the first book in the series prior to reading The American Roommate Experiment.

When I first read the synopsis of The American Roommate Experiment, I was immediately interested. This book appeared to contain some tropes which I typically enjoy, such as the close proximity trope. That being said, I was still on the fence. I read the first book in this series, The Spanish Love Deception, when it was released. There were several aspects of that book which I did not enjoy, including the cringeworthy scenes and dialogue. Unfortunately for me, The American Roommate Experiment contained many of the problems which I had with The Spanish Love Deception.

One aspect of The American Roommate Experiment which I enjoyed was the first quarter of the book. I thought the first chapter gave Rosie a clear voice in the story and captured her personality. I think the beginning of the story was set up well to introduce the main plot points. While I think it took a little too long to get the main action started, which didn’t occur until about a third of the way through the book, the beginning was easy to read and I was very engaged in the story.

After the first third of the book, the story started to go downhill for me. While I found Rosie and Lucas to be likable, I found some inconsistencies in their characters and their storylines to be imbalanced. I appreciate that the author tried to give Rosie and Lucas interesting backstories in order to make their actions understandable. That being said, Rosie’s backstory was far more developed than the backstory given to Lucas. Additionally, I wasn’t a huge fan of how his character developed throughout the story. Initially, Lucas is described as incredibly charming. However, his character quickly turns incredibly cheesy. His character never felt consistent to me. While I want characters to grow throughout the story, he almost seemed like a different character by the end of the novel.

Another aspect of the story which hindered my reading experience was the plot. As I mentioned earlier in my review, the main action of this story doesn’t start until about a third of the way through the book. Once it begins, many of the situations and conversations became extremely repetitive without moving the plot forward. Rosie and Lucas go on a fake date, something spoils the end of the date, and then the two question the upcoming deadline of their fake relationship. As a result, it sometimes felt like I was reading the same scene or dialogue over and over, just taking place at a different time and location.

Additionally, I did not like how the characters from The Spanish Love Deception were included. Lina, the main protagonist of The Spanish Love Deception, is the cousin of Lucas. She warns Rosie about Lucas and tells Lucas not to hurt Rosie because it would put her in an awkward position. I believe this was included to tie in previous characters from the series and to provide tension to the relationship between Rosie and Lucas. That being said, I am not a huge fan of this trope in novels and I find it as a flimsy way to add tension as well as slightly annoying.

The greatest aspect of this novel which made it difficult for me to enjoy was the cringe worthiness in the scenes and dialogues. I would say the first third of this book doesn’t contain much cheesiness. However, there is one line towards the beginning of the novel which worried me about the direction it was headed. As the book progresses, the dialogue becomes more and more cringeworthy. By the last quarter of the book, I just wanted to finish because it became so persistent that it was unenjoyable for me to read.

All in all, The American Roommate Experiment felt too similar to The Spanish Love Deception for me. Like The Spanish Love Deception, The American Roommate includes fake dating. The characters, which initially didn’t start of similar, slowly changed into having some of the characteristics of Lina and Aaron. Overall, The American Roommate Experiment wasn’t a stand-out read to me. I give this book two and a half out of five stars.

New Year’s Resolutions Book Tag

Happy New Year! A new year equals a ton of new books to read and enjoy! Here are some of my book New Year’s Resolutions from the New Year’s Resolutions Book Tag:

  • An Author that you’d like to read that you’ve never read before

One new-tome author that I would like to read in 2023 is Carley Fortune. In 2022, Fortune released Every Summer After which was extremely popular on social media. The plot of this book sounds like one which I would enjoy, so I am hoping to pick this book up as well as her 2023 release, Meet Me at the Lake, this year.

  • A book you’d like to read

This year, I created a list titled 24 Books that I Would Like to Read by 2024 of boos previously released and books to be released in 2024 which I would like to read. One book on my list is Happy Place by Emily Henry. Over the past couple years, Emily Henry has become an auto-buy contemporary romance author for me, as I really enjoyed The People We Meet on Vacation and Book Lovers.

  • A classic you’d like to read

Realistically, I do not think I will be reading a classic this year. When I pick books to read for fun, I’m not usually picking a classic book.

  • A book you’d like to re-read

One book that I would like to re-read this year is the rest of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I reread the first two books in this series during 2022, so I would like to read the last two books and the novella again during 2023.

  • A book you’ve had for ages and want to read

One book that I’ve had for a couple years and would like to read is In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren. I have put this one off because I haven’t enjoyed many new releases by this author duo in recent years and, from the description, I can expect that this book may have some tropes which I don’t typically like to read. However, I did include this on my 24 Books to Read Before 2024 list as I do want to read this book when December rolls around this year.

  • A big book you’d like to read

This year I don’t have any massive books on my list, I think I covered that a lot in 2023 with reading a lot of Sarah J. Maas books. However, one big book that I have always had my eye on is Priory of an Orange Tree by Shannon Hale. The size of this book definitely intimidates me, but I have heard many positive reviews and I think it could be fun to read in 2023.

  • An author that you’ve previously read and want to read more of

One author that I expect to read again in 2023 is Tessa Bailey. This year, she will be releasing a new duology set in a vineyard, which reminds me a lot of her Bellinger sisters duology. That duology was only average to me, but I really love how fun her books are to read, so I definitely see myself picking up her new releases in 2023.

  • A book you got for Christmas and would like to read

I did not get any books for Christmas this year! That being said, I did buy Volume Three of Lore Olympus the day after Christmas when I was shopping during after Christmas sales. This book is on my 24 Books to Read Before 2024 list, so I would like to read it before the end of the year.

  • A series you want to read from start to finish

One of my book goals for this year is to read three graphic novels. I plan on reading the Lore Olympus series, which currently has four books released in print form. I did read some of this series when it was released on WebToon, however, I am excited to read the print series as it contains some bonus scenes. While my goal is to read at least three graphic novels this year, I don’t think that it would be unrealistic to read the four printed volumes of this series.

  • A series you want to finish that you’ve already started

Technically only one books will be released this year from the duology, but I would like to continue The Cruel Prince series by reading the first book in the companion series, The Stolen Heir. On my 24 Books to Read Before 2024 list, I also have How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, which is also apart of this series. I loved The Cruel Prince series when it was originally released, so I’m excited to read more books set in this world.

  • Do you set reading goals? If so, how many books do you want to read in 2023?

This year, I did set a few reading goals in my Reading Goals for 2023 post. This year, I would like to read at least 36 books (I read 38 books in 2022 with a goal of 24 books).

  • Any other reading goals?

Some of my other reading goals are: I want to read three previously purchased books, three graphic novels, and I would like to visit my local library in-person more frequently.

What are your bookish reading resolutions?

Ringin’ in the New Year Book Tag

Happy New Year’s Eve! To ring in the New Year, I decided to complete the Ringing in the New Year Tag created by Bookmark Chronicles. Here are my answers (book reviews will be linked to book titles):

  • Best Book/Series You Read in 2022

Every year I host The Brittany Awards where I list my favorite books of the year for a variety of categories. To see my top favorites of the year, see my list here. One of my favorite books from this list was A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams. Overall, The Bromance Book Club series is average for me, but this book was by far my favorite in the series. For me, this book was a perfect holiday romance.

For series, I would have to say Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas stands out for me. I read the second book onward in the series this year back-to-back. I haven’t stayed up late reading a book or got invested in a series for so long. When I finished this series, I wished that I could just keep reading about the characters inside.

  • Author that You Recently Found and Would Like to Read More of in the New Year

One author that I really loved this year was Abby Jimenez. I did read a book by this author in 2021, which I also enjoyed, so she has quickly become a contemporary romance author that is automatically added to my TBR. She does have a book coming out next year, which is related to Part of Your World which I read and loved this year, so I am excited for her next book to release! Her new book, Yours Truly, will be released on April 11, 2023.

  • Most Anticipated Book Turned Movie

I am very excited to see the new Hunger Games movie, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in November 2023. I was such a huge fan of The Hunger Games books and movies back in the day, so it will be nice to see a new installment of the franchise. I saw some images released from the set a little bit ago and they look absolutely perfect!

  • What’s on your TBR for 2023?

I mentioned how I’m excited to see the new Hunger Games movie… but I still need to read the book! I pre-ordered the book when it was released, but have put off reading it. This is definitely a book that I need to read before the movie releases in November 2023.

  • How many books do you hope to read in 2023?

This year, I set my goal as 24 books, which averages to 2 books per month. I did surpass this goal, but I may keep it at 24 books for next year because I think that I can realistically read that many books with my schedule. I may push it to 36 books, but I do not want to put a lot of pressure on myself.

  • Will you participate in the Goodreads Challenge or any others?

Every year, I do participate in the Goodreads challenge. I think trying to read a certain number of books if very doable for me. I know that on StoryGraph has some challenges, so I might look into those as well.

  • Any New Year’s resolutions (bookish or otherwise)?

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to complete my Blogentine’s Day posts. In February in the past, I have posted once per day leading up to Valentine’s Day, so I would like to do that this year.

Have a great New Year! What are your top bookish goals for 2023?

December 2022 Reading Wrap-up

During December, I didn’t have a huge reading month as I only read three books. However, I will still chalk this up as a win because I have been in a huge reading slump for the past couple months. Here’s what I read:

A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams was one of my favorite books of the year! It was the perfect book to read throughout the month of December. A Very Merry Bromance is the fifth installment of The Bromance Book Club contemporary romance series. This book follows Colton Wheeler, a musician struggling to write his next album, and Gretchen Winthrop, a serious lawyer who doesn’t like Christmas. The Bromance Book Club series as a whole is average to me, but A Very Merry Bromance is definitely my favorite out of the bunch. For me, what sells a romance book are two love interests who compliment each other and help each other grow throughout the novel as well as purposeful scenes which make the relationship in the book stronger. A Very Merry Bromance hit both of these marks perfectly, which earned it five stars from me.

Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca is the fourth book in the Well Met contemporary romance series. I really enjoyed the last book in this series, Well Matched, so Well Traveled was a disappointing follow-up for me. Well Traveled follows Lulu, a Type A lawyer, who quit her job and spends the summer following around the Dueling Kilts, a popular Renaissance Faire band. Then, she develops feelings for Dex, the band’s lead singer. I had several major problems with this book that made it a two star read for me. This book was the most removed from the original series, as it does not take place at the Renaissance Faire typically featured in the series. The characters which it is does feature from previous installments are from Well Played, my least favorite book in the series. Additionally, I never really bought the romance between the two love interests because the characters and their interactions lacked the depth that I needed.

  • Icebreaker by Hannah Grace

I picked up Icebreaker because I saw a lot of hype surrounding this book on BookTok. Unfortunately for me, Ice Breaker was a major disappointment for me. According to the synopsis, Ice Breaker is supposed to be the story of Anastasia Allen, a figure skater, who must work together with the hockey team’s captain after they are forced to share an ice rink and her skating partner gets injured. This book suffered from many problems. First, I found the contents of the book didn’t match the book’s description. In fact, I would say the synopsis really only overs about 5% of the book, if that. This book was also unnecessarily long and would have benefitted from some editing to make the story run more smoothly. I found the plot to be all over the place and the cast to be too large in order to set up for future books. If I hadn’t purchased this book, I probably would have DNF’d it.

What books did you read in December?

The Christmas Joy Book Tag

On the twentieth day of Christmas, a book reviewer gave to me… the Christmas Joy Book Tag!

  • Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

Recently, I posted about my most anticipated book releases for 2023. On my list, one book that I was really excited for was Happy Place byEmily Henry. I absolutely loved The People We Meet on Vacation and Book Lovers, so I’m hoping to enjoy Happy Place just as much as those books. Happy Place is about a couple who broke up months ago, but never told their friends. As a result, they decide to pretend to be a couple at an annual summer trip. I mentioned in my post how I don’t typically like books where the couple was previously together because I really enjoy reading about a couple falling in love for the first time. However, if any author can convince me to change my mind, it would be Emily Henry.

  • Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but want to sing about?

During my annual Brittany Awards, I talked about some of my favorite books/authors of the year. One book that I mentioned was A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams. The Bromance Book Club series has been hit-or-miss for me, but A Very Merry Bromance is easily my favorite of the lot. I love when romance book scenes build upon each other where every interaction between the main characters makes them question their ideas of love as opposed to a collection of cute scenes/situations throughout the novel. A Very Merry Bromance excelled in creating love interests who were equally interesting and well-matched.

  • Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?
Christmas Trees & Decorations: Favorite Book Cover, Birds of California by Katie Cotugno

One book that I read this year with excellent world-building is Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. Typically in series by Maas, there is a lot of world building in the first book. While this can make it difficult to get through the first hundred pages or so, it is helpful into understanding the world. However, the best part of the world-building of this book comes at the end of the second book in this series, House of Sky and Breath. I won’t say it here because it is a major spoiler, but all I will say is that if you don’t know how it ends, you will be shocked when you read it!

  • A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

To be honest, I.am not a huge fan of classic books! If I was going to pick a classic book, I would probably opt for a “modern classic.”

  • Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

I will not be receiving this book for Christmas (it doesn’t ship out until next year), but I am eagerly anticipating my package in the mail. Recently, FairyLoot released exclusive editions of the Crescent City series. These books features exclusive covers and artwork inside. I cannot wait to receive my copies in the mail!

  • Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

One book that gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling this year was Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood. I didn’t go into this book expecting to love it as much as I did, but I really enjoyed reading this book. Before I read this book, I was in a huge reading slump and I needed a fun book with likable characters and this book was exactly what I needed at that time.

  • Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

This year for my Brittany Awards, I talked about some of my favorite covers of the year. One cover that I really liked was Birds of California by Katie Cotugno. I think it has bright, fun colors. I really like the lettering used, which looks like a neon hotel sign. That being said, I do not think that this cover really matches the story inside. Birds of California is a very somber story, so some readers may feel tricked by the cover.

  • Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas and/or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

One of my favorite things about Christmas is buying presents for other people! I like finding things that remind me of someone and giving it to them as a gift. I have a few cousins are are young, so I love getting to see Christmas through their eyes as well.

The Christmas Song Book Tag

On the twenty fourth day of Christmas, a book blogger gave to me… The Christmas Song Book Tag!

  • “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you can’t help but love

He’s not necessarily a villain, but he is apart of an enemies-to-lovers couple which I love. Charlie from Book Lovers was one of my favorites enemies-to-lovers this year. I really loved his banter with Nora and they were one of my favorite couples of the year.

  • “All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you hope to see under your Christmas tree?

This book definitely isn’t coming on time for Christmas, but it is a book that I am excited to receive in 2023. Recently, I pre-ordered the Fairyloot edition of Crescent City which feature exclusive covers and artwork of the characters. I am am very excited to have these as a part of my collection!

  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves

One character that overcomes obstacles is Fiona St. James, a former child actor from Birds of California by Katie Cotugno. Fiona’s experience in the industry caused her to dislike something which she loved so much. However, in the book, readers get to see Fiona discover her love of acting again, even if it isn’t on the screen.

  • “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: Which character would be on the nice list and which character would be on the naughty list?

For this question, I am going to go with the book Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca. This book made one of my least favorite love interests ever to reappear, Daniel from Well Played. He would definitely be on the naughty list because he still hasn’t grown from the book where he first appeared in the series and still takes no accountability for the terrible actions he did in Well Played. I will give the character on the nice list to Dex, the main love interest of Well Traveled. Dex has a huge reputation as a conceited player, but readers get to see a different side of him in this story.

  • “Frosty the Snowman”: Which book melts your heart?

One book that melted my heart this year Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood. This was the perfect cute, fun romance and I really enjoyed Bee and Levi as a couple. This book helped me get out of a reading slump in 2022 because I enjoyed reading it so much!

  • “Feliz Navidid”: A book that takes place in a different country than your own

This isn’t a real place, but it is a place that I wish I could visit… Terrasen from Throne of Glass! After finishing Throne of Glass, I wish I could see what Terrasen has become since the end of the novel.

  • “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread Christmas joy?

and

  • “Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional characters would you spend the holiday with?

One holiday themed book that I enjoyed this year was A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams. As a result, I would love to spend the holiday with Colton Wheeler from A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams. Colton loves Christmas and likes to share holiday experiences with the important people in his life. I love how much of a family the members of the Bromance Book Club are even though they aren’t related, so I think they would be a fun group to hang out with around the holidays.

  • Baby It’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you not mind sacrificing to a fire to keep yourself warm?

I don’t necessarily think this book should be thrown in a fire, but my lowest rated book of the year would have to be Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter. I found the main character and plot to be extremely immature. I didn’t like how the main character making very ridiculous decisions was portrayed as humorous. I am not a fan of romances that read a lot younger, but seem to be aged up to include more intimate scenes, which this book unfortunately did.

  • “Do You Hear What I Hear?”: Which book do you think everyone should read?

One book that I read this year which I would recommend to other people is Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez. I am a huge fan of her books, but I don’t see them talked about as much online.

Books on my Library TBR

Recently, I have found myself requesting more and more books on the virtual branch on my library. Here are a few of my most recent requests:

  • Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

In 2021, I read Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle and enjoyed it. I was interesting in reading more books by her and I was excited to see that she was releasing a Christmas book this year. As a result, I suggested this book to my virtual library. In the beginning of December, I was placed on the waitlist for this book and just a few days ago I got the notification that it was my turn to check it out!

That being said, I am a little nervous for this read based on the synopsis. Just Like Magic follows Bettie Hughes, a former rich girl who accidentally encounters Hall, a Christmas spirit, after she plays a Christmas song. However, the happier she becomes with Hall, the quicker he will leave. Based on the summary, I think this book could be really cute or it could lean too gimmicky.

  • Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade

I have read both of the previous books in the Spoiler Alert contemporary romance series. Overall, this series has just been average for me. However, since I have read the two previous book and I noticed the third book in my virtual library, I decided to request a hold for this book. From the description, Ship Wrecked seems to be a second-chance romance for two actors who previously had a fling, but are now forced to work together on a new project. While I am interested in rounding out the series, I hope this book doesn’t become a DNF for me in 2023 just because I am not super invested in the series.

  • The American Roommate Experience by Elena Armas

This book isn’t technically available on my library, but I have suggested it in hopes that it will appear in the library. However, if it doesn’t, I may end up purchasing it for my Kindle. The Spanish Love Experiment wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m always interested in reading other books by an author, even if I didn’t like the first book that I read by them. The American Roommate Experiment follows Rosie, who quits her job to pursue her career as an author. Rosie stays at a friend’s place which she must share with her friend’s cousin.

What books are on your library TBR?