Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez
Goodreads blurb: A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist. Vanessa lives life on her own terms — one day at a time, every day to its fullest. She isn’t willing to waste a moment or miss out on an experience when she has no idea whether she shares the same fatal genetic condition as her mother. Besides, she has way too much to do, traveling the globe and showing her millions of YouTube followers the joy in seizing every moment. But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her infant daughter, she is housebound, on mommy duty for the foreseeable future, and feeling totally out of her element. The last person she expects to show up offering help is the unbelievably hot lawyer who lives next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. But as they get closer, Vanessa realizes that her carefree ways and his need for a structured plan could never be compatible for the long term. Then again, she should know better than anyone that life’s too short to fear taking the biggest risk of all. . .
My take: 4.75 out of 5. I preordered this book a while ago, and my expectations were very high. I discovered Abby Jimenez last year and really enjoyed Friend Zone and absolutely adored The Happy Ever After Playlist, it was my favorite romance of last year and easily a top 5 that I read. With these high expectations, I was psychologically prepared to be disappointed. For it to have been a good but not a great one. Thankfully that did not happen. This book was spectacular, it’s everything I want in a rom com and more. I read it in one afternoon, I could not put it down. I loved the characters, the story, the buildup. i really enjoy a dual narrative in a romance novel and here it was done great. This is not all happy and a perfect love story. There’s drama, family issues, addiction, work etc, which just makes it all the more real. Although, as real as it is to be a jetsetting travel vlogger, I mean Vanessa does have the perfect job. I thought the ending (i will not spoil here) was expertly managed and it has both satisfaction and questions left.
Big highlight, the Friend Zone and HEAP gang shows up! even if for a slight cameo, its great that Sloan, Jason, Josh and Kristen were incorporated.
This is the beach book this year a MUST read.
The Girl with Stars in her Eyes by Xio Axelrod
Goodreads blurb: Growing up, Antonia “Toni” Bennett’s guitar was her only companion…until she met Sebastian Quick. Seb was a little older, a lot wiser, and he became Toni’s way out, promising they’d escape their small town together. Then Seb turned eighteen and split without looking back. Now, Toni B is all grown up and making a name for herself in Philadelphia’s indie rock scene. When a friend suggests she try out for the hottest new band in the country, she decides to take a chance. She’s in for a surprise when one of the decision-makers turns out to be none other than Seb. Toni can handle it. No problem. Or it wouldn’t be if Seb didn’t still hold a piece of her heart, not to mention the key to her future. ( This in an ARC review, thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out on 5/4)
My take: 3.5 out of 5. This was a surprise for me. I had no expectations on this book, and when i got the ARC of the audiobook, i started without knowing where it was going to go. It was a very positive surprise. The story was deep, characters had a strong backstory and i really enjoyed the musical aspect of it. It sounds weird to say but i felt the musical energy, I was totally engaged, unlike some other books about musical acts that I’ve just not felt the passion. This is the type of book that I feel would be perfectly adaptable to TV. Only thing i really didn’t get is the title. For me, Toni was the girl with no stars in her eyes, the title i felt was the complete opposite of how i interpreted the character. Also I would have liked more high school remembrances, a little bit more about what made Seb and Toni so connected. Thoughts on the audiobook per se, although i really enjoyed that the toni narration was done by a woman and seb’s by a man, the males other voices whilst reading were a bit weird. However the dual narrator helps much more with the storyline than when two narrators are read by the same person.
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner
Goodreads blurb: Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way (after years of trying)—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears. But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park. ( This in an ARC review, thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out on Jan 2022)
My take: 3.5 out of 5. This one was hard to define. It took me a while to get into but the ending was really good so I’m torn. It has three narrators and that builds up quite an interesting take on the book, and although some aspects of the thriller are predictable, some are definitely not, and quite interesting. I think part of why i didn’t love this from the start is that i really did not like any of the characters and it took some time for me to be invested at all. But there are some interesting twist and turns and the last line makes the book.