Arc Review: Kind of Sort of Fine by Spencer Hall

Title: Kind of Sort of Fine
Author: Spencer Hall
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2021
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Senior year changes everything for two teens in this poignant, funny coming-of-age story that looks at what happens when the image everyone has of us no longer matches who we really are.

Senior year of high school is full of changes.

For Hayley Mills, these changes aren’t exactly welcome. All she wants is for everyone to forget about her very public breakdown and remember her as the overachiever she once was—and who she’s determined to be again. But it’s difficult to be seen as a go-getter when she’s forced into TV Production class with all the slackers like Lewis Holbrook.

For Lewis, though, this is going to be his year. After a summer spent binging 80s movies, he’s ready to upgrade from the role of self-described fat, funny sidekick to leading man of his own life—including getting the girl. The only thing standing in his way is, well, himself.

When the two are partnered up in class, neither is particularly thrilled. But then they start making mini documentaries about their classmates’ hidden talents, and suddenly Hayley is getting attention for something other than her breakdown, and Lewis isn’t just a background character anymore. It seems like they’re both finally getting what they want—except what happens when who you’ve become isn’t who you really are?” (Goodreads)

The book follows two point-of-views: Hayley and Lewis. Both are very different students and have different things that interest them. I am glad I had the chance to read this one as both of the main characters really resonated with me when it came to my time in high school and even now as an adult.

Hayley is an A student who took harder classes and played Tennis for an extracurricular activity until it all became too much and she had a breakdown in front of her school.

Lewis is the guy that sits in the background but cracks jokes about his weight before anyone gets the chance to. He slides through high school on C’s but enjoys his TV production class.

They both come together when they are paired in the TV production and life becomes a bit different, especially for Lewis.

When it came to Hayley, I may not have been as outgoing when it came to classwork but I did push myself to get good grades. Everything she was going through led to a breakdown and even though I never had one in front of a lot of people, I understand where she is coming from. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and one day it may just make us crack. I did like seeing how she coped with that situation, sometimes she didn’t always make the best choices, but it also showed her going to a therapist which can be stigmatized.

Lewis was also easy to understand because I’ve been there, and still am, as the larger one. It sucks a lot. I never got bullied in school like he did for that particular reason but even just small comments from family can be enough to just not make you feel important. Even while losing weight he didn’t have much support but still stuck to it. I appreciated seeing him still thriving and trying to be better even when it was hard.

There were some great moments between them when it came to their TV production project. I also had a lot of laughs at other moments in the book and even if some of the jokes weren’t my taste (although they would be for teens) I liked the comedic relief to take away from the harder topics at hand.

The plot does have a bit of romance but it is very minor. I’m actually glad for this as it left more time for them to grow and it didn’t push the, “you need to be in a relationship to be fixed”. Everything had it’s timing.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.

Book Review: For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1) by Hannah Whitten

Title: For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1)
Author: Hannah Whitten
Genre: Adult Fantasy / Retelling
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021
Publisher: Orbit Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher for sending me out a finished copy to review! All opinions are my own.

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.” (Goodreads)

Red is one of two sisters and she is to be sacrificed to the Wolf while her sister gets the throne. This is such an intriguing premise for a plot and it definitely help up to my expectations for a lot of the book.

In the beginning we are introduced to Red and she is getting ready to be sacrificed. There is bits here and there that explain to an extent what it means to be a sacrifice and as to why they do it. I also like that the author doesn’t just give us all the information at once and you must continue reading on to truly understand what happens/happened to those that have went before Red.

The book is told from the perspective of Red and her sister Neve. I’m glad that it is written this way since they each have their paths as well as being in different places for a majority of the book. It keeps the tension as you switch between each one with plot twists ending some of their chapters. I also enjoyed this because I do adore sister bonds. You can tell how much Neve wants to help her sister and will do anything to bring her home. Red is also the same way but has left home to protect her sister. It’s easy to understand the sisters actions even if some of them bring chaos.

The Wolf isn’t what I was expecting at all. He is broody and wants to be the one that carries all of the burdens. He is closed off but definitely a sweet cinnamon roll inside. Their relationship is a very slow one with not much really happening between them until farther into the book. It is very much enemies-to-lovers as they didn’t choose this life. They learn to make sacrifices for one another as well as learning to let people in. I will say that the romance was my least favorite part but it did still have me smiling a couple of times.

There are other characters that are involved with the plot but it’s better if you go in blind for them. I honestly wasn’t expecting some to have as big of roles as they did. It made the plot twists that much sweeter! I didn’t guess anything right and it had me wanting to pick up the book whenever I had to step away for a bit.

While reading through it gave me Uprooted, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen 2 vibes but obviously its a lot darker. The woods was a mix between the first and third of those mentioned and I loved learning about the intricacies of it. I still think there will be more to explain with the Wilderwood in the next book since there is some unfinished business. I’m sure we will also see Red and the Wolf hone in more to their powers as well.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I’m so glad I have been able to read it now. I am looking forward to the sequel as the ending had me gasping. I seriously need to know what will happen next.

Arc Review: The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious #4) by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious #4)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery from New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson.

Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she’s back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer.

But then she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly known as Camp Wonder Falls—the site of the notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods Murders. Back in 1978, four camp counselors were killed in the woods outside of the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies left in a gruesome display. The new owner offers Stevie an invitation: Come to the camp and help him work on a true crime podcast about the case.

Stevie agrees, as long as she can bring along her friends from Ellingham Academy. Nothing sounds better than a summer spent together, investigating old murders.

But something evil still lurks in Barlow Corners. When Stevie opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for. The Box in the Woods will make room for more victims. This time, Stevie may not make it out alive.” (Goodreads)

When I found out about this book at the beginning of the year I was so ecstatic that Stevie would have another adventure solving a mystery. Truly Devious was the first YA Mystery I read and it’s what got me out of a reading slump as well as started my love for mysteries! Maureen Johnson never disappoints and this one hooked me right from the beginning.

As with the previous books, there are two timelines as well as two-point-of-views. In the present timeline the point-of-view corresponds with Stevie Bell. The real life Sherlock who is obsessed with murder. The past timeline has a few different point-of-views as well as something else but it’s a secret and it ties everything in.

Stevie is still the same ‘ol Stevie and she is accompanied by Janelle and Nate. I have always enjoyed Nate as he is hilarious and really gives us the comedic relief. I would say that he is more present than Janelle at times but she is still always there for Stevie which I love. And of course, David does make appearances and I’m not going to lie I actually liked him a lot in this book.

Since the mystery wraps up by the end the book is pretty quick paced and I was devouring it. It was hard to set it down once the timeline changed because the chapter would leave off on a cliffhanger and I had to know what would happen next. I may have stayed up past the time I usually go to bed because I kept saying, “just one more chapter!”. I also thought I would be murdered in my sleep but that is neither here nor there, haha. I’m a chicken!

There are a lot of suspenseful moments. I also kept trying to figure out who it could be and every time I had an idea along came another plot twist! I really wasn’t expecting the reveal as well as the why. It was intense and definitely unique.

Overall, this was another fantastic book from this author! It was just what I needed and left me wanting more. I really do hope that there will be more books because I love these characters and I never want it to end.

Arc Review: Broken Web (Shamanborn #2) by Lori M. Lee

Title: Broken Web (Shamanborn #2)
Author: Lori M. Lee
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Page Street
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an arc to read and review!

The sequel to the hotly-anticipated Forest of Souls, an epic and immersive tale of destiny and sisterhood. Perfect for fans of Susan Dennard, Sarah J. Maas, and Netflix’s The Witcher!

The Soulless has woken from his centuries-long imprisonment. Now, he lurks in the Dead Wood recovering his strength, while Sirscha and her allies journey east to the shaman empire of Nuvalyn. Everyone believes she is a soulguide—a savior—but Sirscha knows the truth. She’s a monster, a soulrender like the Soulless, and if anyone discovers the truth, she’ll be executed.

But there’s nothing Sirscha won’t risk to stop the shaman responsible for the rot that’s killing her best friend. While the Soulless is formidable, like all shamans, his magic must be channeled through a familiar. If Sirscha can discover what—or who—that is, she might be able to cut him off from his power.

With Queen Meilyr bent on destroying the magical kingdoms, Sirscha finds herself caught between a war brewing in the east and the Soulless waiting in the west. She should be trying to unite what peoples she can to face their common enemies, but instead, her hunt for clues about the Soulless leads to a grim discovery, forcing Sirscha to question who her enemies really are.” (Goodreads)

Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1): Book Review

As someone who liked the first book but felt like it lacked something to really pull me in, this sequel did the trick! This sequel is filled with political intrigue, more lore, lots of action, and learning that good and evil isn’t always black and white. It packs a punch!

Sirscha is still coming to terms with her magical ability of soulrendering and not trying to lose control. Her friend, familiar, and basically a sister Saengo really tries to keep it in check and be the conscious she needs at times. Although their relationship has been left unaffected by the change of Saengo’s soul, it’s easy to understand why the Soulless would want to tear the bond between them. If she doesn’t have the good angel on her shoulder to keep her in check then what would happen to Sirscha? Manipulation is a powerful thing especially if it comes from someone who has been where you are and is “trying to help”. I do think that some of what was talked about when it comes to their friendship will definitely be tested in the third book. Sirscha doesn’t always listen to her gut though and some things tend to go wrong. I feel like this is just human nature as we want to believe that those around us truly want to help. It’s easy to understand her actions and why she makes the choices she does.

Since I’ve mentioned the Soulless I guess I’ll talk about him next, haha. Even though I am not one to be drawn to the “bad guy”, there is something about him that I find intriguing. I like that even though he is far away from Sirscha for most of the book he is still around her in her dreams. He adds a lot to the history of the empire. I’m still not entirely sure what his overall motive is but I like where the plot is going with him and I can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeve.

Other characters from the first book are still present as well along with new faces too. I still like Theyen and really hope he survives because it would just be too sad of a day if he doesn’t.

Politics is a big topic in the book and because of that it is hard to decide who can really be trusted. There are some that are obviously trustworthy as they have kept Sirscha’s abilities a secret but there are still those that there isn’t enough information on or who have been acting quite suspicious. All of the mistrust does make for some shocking plot twists though!

Overall, I enjoyed the sequel. It had a lot of shocking moments that kept me intrigued throughout and it’s going to be hard to have to wait for the third book. There is just too much at stake and now I’ll just be speculating until then, haha.

Arc Review: Tell Me When You Feel Something by Vicki Grant

Title: Tell Me When You Feel Something
Author: Vicki Grant
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Rating: ⭐⭐✨

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

The perfect after-school job turns deadly for teens working as simulated patients at the local med school. Everyone has something to hide and no one is safe in this contemporary YA thriller that exposes the dark reality of #MeToo in the world of medicine, for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

It seemed like a cool part-time program — being a simulated patient for med school students to practice on. But now vivacious, charismatic Viv lies in a very real coma. Cellphone footage just leads to more questions. What really happened? Other kids suspect it was not an intentional overdose — but each has a reason why they can’t tell the truth.

Through intertwining and conflicting narratives, a twisted story unfolds of trust betrayed as we sift through the seemingly innocent events leading up to the tragic night. Perhaps simulated patients aren’t the only people pretending to be something they’re not . . .” (Goodreads)

I’m always down to read a YA Mystery / Thriller. Even if they are labeled as “YA”, they can still be quite heart pounding! I also don’t read it too often but when I do, I am hoping to get hooked. Unfortunately for this one, it just felt like your average mystery / thriller.

The book does have multiple point-of-views as the girl, Viv, everyone is talking about is in a coma. Some of the point-of-views were more interesting than others. Since it does switch often it is hard to fully connect with the other characters as the plot is based around Viv.

When it came to Viv, she has a lot going on in her life. She is dealing with divorced parents, one remarrying, and everything else that comes with being a teen. She turns to alcohol to help numb the pain which is sad that she felt like she didn’t have anyone there for her besides the substance.

Besides the multiple point-of-views, there are also police interviews and emails that correlate with the case. I always like seeing this format because it helps to engage more with the plot.

The plot felt very average and didn’t leave me feeling like it brought anything new to the genre. After a bit it was easy to figure out where the story was going and who did it. I at least was surprised by one thing.

There is definitely need for content warnings so here they are: sexual assault, talk of child pornography, substance abuse

Overall, this was just okay. I felt like the plot could have been developed a bit better and the minor characters could have been less flat.

Arc Review: The Layover by Lacie Waldon

Title: The Layover
Author: Lacie Waldon
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Putnam
Rating: 2.5 stars

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

“After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She’s got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone — the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she’s held a secret grudge against for years — is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn’t remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land….

But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover. Getting stuck on a three-hour flight with her nemesis was bad enough. Being stranded with him at a luxury resort in paradise? Even with the sultry breeze and white sand to distract her, it will take all the rum punch in the country to drown out his larger-than-life presence.

Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him… and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds….” (Goodreads)

I was looking forward to reading this one as it seemed like a book with the perfect escape. I loved the idea of reading about a flight attendant since I can’t recall ever reading a book where that is the main character’s job. This review will have spoilers.

For the most part, this book had a lot of things I would normally like but the issue I had, which made it hard to get into, is that it starts off with her in a relationship and we are just supposed to take her word that she is miserable. To be honest, it just felt like the author threw in the whole engagement just to add a bit of drama but I just wasn’t down for it.

Although nothing exclusively happens between Jack and Ava until her relationship is called off. You could argue that she was emotionally cheating. She never even wore her engagement ring is a red flag, especially when she never talked about her private life to those she worked with. You can’t fault Jack on this one.

This one does have the enemies-to-lovers trope, although for the most part one-sided, is usually my favorite trope but I just couldn’t get into it knowing she had a fiancé back home.

I did like the side characters and the setting. They were both fun and made me not overly dislike the book.

Overall, this was an okay to good read depending on how you look at it. I think there will be those that enjoy it more than me.

Arc Review: Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani #1) by Sasha Nanua & Sarena Nanua

Title: Sisters of the Snake (Ria & Rani #1)
Author: Sasha Nanua & Sarena Nanua
Genre: YA Fantasy / Own Voice / Retelling
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

“A lost princess. A dark puppet master. And a race against time—before all is lost.

Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself. Ria is a street urchin, stealing just to keep herself alive.

When these two lives collide, everything turns on its head: because Ria and Rani, orphan and royal, are unmistakably identical.

A deal is struck to switch places—but danger lurks in both worlds, and to save their home, thief and princess must work together. Or watch it all fall into ruin.

Deadly magic, hidden temples, and dark prophecies: Sisters of the Snake is an action-packed, immersive fantasy that will thrill fans of The Crown’s Game and The Tiger at Midnight.” (Goodreads)

I love reading about new and diverse worlds when it comes to the fantasy genre. Sometimes worlds can feel like they blend together, especially because of plot points, but this was a fun and intriguing read.

I’m not sure if anyone is talking about this but there is hints of a retelling as the girls decide to trade places for awhile which made me think of The Prince and the Pauper, although this would be considered a genderbend. To be honest, I love stories where two characters switch places and so this added a lot of flare to the story as Ria and Rani both have different personalities and come from different lives as well, one being a princess and the other a thief.

The book is told in dual point-of-view so the reader can understand what is going on when it comes to Ria and Rani as they are both on different missions and in different places. I liked seeing how each one overcame their fears to be stronger while also growing their bond and making new friends along the way.

There is a bit of romance and although it blossomed rather quickly, I didn’t dislike it. I think it’s because I did like the characters and the conversations they had together.

The magic is cool and one particular part of it deals with snakes. I’ve only read one other book with snake magic and I am here for it. I may hate snakes but I do like reading about them and Shima really stole the show for me. There is mention of other magical abilities, some are used, but it isn’t a lot. There is explanations to it all so it doesn’t feel useless when it comes to the plot. I am looking forward from more of it.

Now to what I didn’t like. Although the worldbuilding, especially the magic, is intriguing and left me wanting to read, it was easy to see plot holes and some things just resolved rather quickly. This is one of those books where you kind of have to throw logic out the window, but at least the view is nice. It was a bit harder to like the parts where things resolved quickly but since there is going to be a sequel I won’t be too harsh since there is more to the story.

Overall, this was a good read. I liked the worldbuilding and the lore so far that has been told as well as the characters. I will be looking forward to the sequel.

Book Review: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Title: Arsenic and Adobo
Author: Mia P. Manansala
Genre: Adult Mystery / Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…” (Goodreads)

Before this book I had never read a Cozy Mystery before. I have read books in the Mystery / Thriller genre but it was nice to read something less thrilling that still kept my attention and had me trying to guess the outcome of the murder!

Lila Macapagal has recently moved back to help her aunt and grandma with the family restaurant. She hasn’t had the best of time being back as her ex-boyfriend is a dillweed. Seriously, he is the worst! Now there has been a death at the restaurant and she must investigate to clear her name with the help of family, friends, and others in the community.

This book has a lot of togetherness whether it comes from the community or those closer to her like friends and family. I am always here for bonds like that because it just shows how caring those around us can be, even from people you don’t really know. Her friendship with Adeena is a great one but they do have their struggles as well. I liked seeing them work through it. I also loved her familial bonds! It reminded me a lot of the one from Dial A for Aunties.

When it came to the plot I was pleasantly surprised with the mystery of it all. I kept thinking I had it figured out but I was completely off! I really had no idea until just right before the big reveal, ha. It kept me intrigued and I honestly binged the whole book. It was hard to put down.

There is also a lot of talk about food. I liked the glossary in the beginning to help with pronunciation and giving a description of what it is. I have ate lumpia before and boy, did it make me hungry for it!

Overall, this was a really fun read. I’ll definitely be checking out more Cozy Mysteries and can’t wait for the next installment of this series.

Book Review: The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

Title: The Forest of Stolen Girls
Author: June Hur
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Mystery
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Suspenseful and richly atmospheric, June Hur’s The Forest of Stolen Girls is a haunting historical mystery sure to keep readers guessing until the last page.

1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest near a gruesome crime scene.

Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared from the same forest that nearly stole his daughters. He travels to their hometown on the island of Jeju to investigate… only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and collides with her now estranged sister, Maewol—Hwani comes to realize that the answer could lie within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.” (Goodreads)

After enjoying this author’s debut last year I knew I needed to read this one. I love that she writes about historical events that aren’t talked about often or well known. It teaches me new things especially because she adds notes at the end to give us more information about the topic she included.

Although there is a couple mysteries to be solved, this book is also about the sibling relationship between Hwani and Maewol. They have lived apart for quite a few years and have taken on different roles and of course, have different personalities. I liked how through it all they still managed to cling to one another. Sibling relationships are just the best and I love to read about them.

As for the mysteries, both of them blended together nicely to form one big mystery. I liked learning about each character and trying to figure out why the girls went missing and who would do it. They also had to try and figure out what happened to their father as well. It got pretty intense at times and I found myself having a hard time putting the book down. Not every character is who they seem to be!

Overall, this was another enjoyable book from this author. I am looking forward to the next book which already had a title and a cover. It looks amazing!

Arc Review: Plot Twist by Bethany Turner

Title: Plot Twist
Author: Bethany Turner
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Rating: ⭐⭐

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

An aspiring screenwriter has a chance encounter with an actor who could be the man of her dreams. Over the next ten years, she’ll write the story . . . but will he end up being the star?

February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.

Every February 4 for the next ten years, Olivia has a day full of coincidences and ironies. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.

But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.” (Goodreads)

I thought this would be an interesting read as the encounter from the blurb sounded really interesting. Sadly, this book just didn’t work for me and maybe it’s just a me thing.

The book begins on February 4th, 2003 with an encounter that Olivia will never forget and it also will play a huge role in her life on the same day for the next ten years. I can’t recall reading a book like this besides maybe One Day in December which I couldn’t get into so my brain is a little hazy on how that one worked out.

I can’t say that I ever connected to Olivia but I did like that she didn’t give up on her dream of writing a script even if it took longer than she had first anticipated. The rest of her life was kind of a mess which I get. No life is perfect and we all do rash things but a lot of her actions were pretty selfish, especially when it came to her friend and ex-boyfriend.

Spoilers in this next Paragraphs:

There is one thing that I can’t stand and that is cheating. Although Olivia wasn’t in a relationship at the time, her ex was and she kissed him not only once but twice when he was in two different relationships, one being her friend. That is just not okay and it really turned me off.

It also made me not like Liam because in the beginning he was this laid back guy and then when they broke up and she found herself in a relationship with his friend who cheated on her, Liam had a lot to say about it but also does the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you only have eyes for one person, don’t be in a relationship or stay far away from the person who keeps trying to get you back but then still walks away.

End of Spoilers.

The plot does match the title as it definitely didn’t turn out like I thought it would but I also think the plot was bogged down by all of the celebrity name dropping and the drama of Olivia’s life.

Overall, this was okay but it just wasn’t a book for me as I’m just not the right reader for it.