So here it is, first reviews of the year. Going to tackle things a bit differently this year as I mention in the 2021 wrapup. Since Ive been quite harsh in my rankings (yes of 115 books read I only gave 2 5 stars and 5 4.75stars), I’m making a slight adjustment and going to be more generous. If I like a book its getting high marks and if there are a lot of 5 stars Ill rank them later for you as I did this year. So my stars might not be comparable year after year, but at least Ill discriminate a bit more into what my favorites are!
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Goodreads blurb: As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees. That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs. Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
My take: 5 out of 5. This is a fabulous romance and I loved every minute of reading it. I loved the characters, the story, the absurdity of it and could not stop reading it. I finished it in one seating. I’m all about really smart lead characters! Although I wanted it to end, because I wanted to know how the totally predictable ending would emerge (it is a romance after all) I also did not want it to finish. I wanted more time with it and that is a true highlight of a great book, wanting the feeling back. Is it a literary masterpiece? no. But i will give my 5 stars to romances I love as well as to great literary masterpieces 😉
Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Goodreads blurb: Flora Mancini has been happily married for more than twenty years. But everything she thought she knew about herself, her marriage, and her relationship with her best friend, Margot, is upended when she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer when their daughter, Ruby, was five. Flora and Julian struggled for years, scraping together just enough acting work to raise Ruby in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theater company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought their first real career successes, a chance to breathe easier, and a reunion with Margot, now a bona fide television star. But has their new life been built on lies? What happened that summer all those years ago? And what happens now? With Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s signature tenderness, humor, and insight, Good Company tells a bighearted story of the lifelong relationships that both wound and heal us
My take: 3 out of 5. I think not being married or in a long term relationship made me a little bit less interested in this book. I just did not relate. There is a lot of relationship exploration and marriage analysis that just bored me a bit, because really, nothing happens in the book. I wanted more to happen. A lot more. Its good to go past the meet cute to the realities of life, but here I needed more than the ending we got.
The Emma Project by Sonali Dev
Goodreads blurb: Emma gets a fresh Indian-American twist from award-winning author Sonali Dev in her heartwarmingly irresistible Jane Austen inspired rom com series. No one can call Vansh Raje’s life anything but charmed. Handsome—Vogue has declared him California’s hottest single—and rich enough to spend all his time on missions to make the world a better place. Add to that a doting family and a contagiously sunny disposition and Vansh has made it halfway through his twenties without ever facing anything to throw him off his admittedly spectacular game. A couple years from turning forty, Knightlina (Naina) Kohli has just gotten out of a ten-year-long fake relationship with Vansh’s brother and wants only one thing from her life…fine, two things. One, to have nothing to do with the unfairly blessed Raje family ever again. Two, to bring economic independence to millions of women in South Asia through her microfinance foundation and prove her father wrong about, well, everything. Just when Naina’s dream is about to come to fruition, Vansh Raje shows up with his misguided Emma Project… And suddenly she’s fighting him for funding and wondering if a friends-with-benefits arrangement that’s as toe-curlingly hot as it is fun is worth risking her life’s work for.
My take: 4.25 out of 5. I love the Sonali Dev Jane Austen inspired stories, and getting this ARC for review was the highlight of the 1st day of the year! I really enjoyed this, probably not as much as her first two which i adored but still a great engrossing read. I do feel that it might have been a bit too literal when they actually talked about Emma, and its the book in the series that relates the less to its source inspiration. I did love that we get to be reintroduced to passing characters from the other books in a totally different light. Also, I’m all about normalizing older women and younger men relationships, I think there should be more of them, and I think this books does it beautifully. Although I have bone to pick with Sonali Dev -why is this the last book? I totally think we could have expanded Esha’s love story into a fifth book instead of a piece of it here, because those chapters were a bit out of place within this story. This is an ARC review thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out May 17, 2022