Category Archives: Romance

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

The premise was great and it started strong, but in the end Never Ever Getting Back Together was just bad. It’s meant to be a light, brain candy sort of book with a sweet f/f romance, but there were too many things that bothered me about it to allow it to be very enjoyable.

The idea of a Bachelor-type reality TV show with all the competitors exes and the winner rekindling their romance with one lucky ex has excellent potential. Once I realized the guy was only 20 and his six exes were 18 to early twenties the whole thing just became silly. I realize the ages are to make it YA, but it’s just not something that lends itself to being a YA book precisely because of the ages. Also, he supposedly dated some of these girls for long periods of time, and these are not his only exes (in fact it’s insinuated there are MANY more) so the timeline just doesn’t work out for him to be only 20.

Maya was really mean to Skye at first (since it’s intended to be enemies to lovers, though that changeover was completely anticlimactic, just a sort of oh, it was a misunderstanding sort of thing, and happened very early on). Because of this, three of the other girls joined Skye in hating Maya. Once Skye started liking Maya the girls continued to hate Maya. This makes no sense. They would definitely not have been so loyal to someone they just met that they continue to hate the girl she only used to hate.

Jordy was really the only well-written character with his own voice, completely fleshed out. He had depth and made you really hate him and his slimy narcissism, The explanation of how he was royal adjacent was not totally explained and had some contradictions, though.

Maya and Skye may as well have been the same character. Aside from Maya liberally using four-letter words, they sounded identical. This presented a problem because the chapters switched point of view between them regularly. Sometimes it was nearly impossible to tell who was narrating until the other one’s name was written.

There are several things that were completely unrealistic, but the worst was when Skye cut off all her hair. None of the girls even commented on it. There is no way a bunch of girls would not comment on someone suddenly going from long hair to a pixie cut. Jordy barely reacted when he saw her. It was just sort of a he raised his eyebrows sort of thing. He had just told her how much he liked her long hair so him not saying anything about her cutting her hair in response to that just seems strange.

The girls tended to be incredibly immature, well beyond what I’d expect of people their ages. They acted more like 14-year-olds most of the time. Especially when Skye threw an incredible hissy fit at the end. Her behavior was out of character and rather insufferable. Maya’s obsession with getting back at Jordy for cheating on her two years before also seemed rather ridiculous, tiring, and very immature.

The formatting on the Kindle version is terrible. There are a few random scene change stars right in the middle of sentences. Conversations are written in paragraph blocks and because attributions aren’t always properly given, sometimes what seems to be one character speaking is actually two. There are also many random spaces right in the middle of paragraphs. Along with the generally poor writing, the formatting made it rather annoying to read.

I had high hopes for Never Ever Getting Back Together so it was disappointing that I ended up disliking it so much. Sure, there are good moments, but they are almost completely overshadowed. This is one book to just not bother with for sure.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 5
Pages Read in 2023: 1736

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Filed under Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Reason: Grim Readers, Romance, Young Adult

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Using the fake dating trope extremely well, The Love Hypothesis is very predictable (this is not a bad thing). Olive is pretty dense for such a smart woman, but her character is written so incredibly authentically that I can “see” people I’ve known in her. All the characters are well written for that matter. The sex scene is not overly graphic and I found myself laughing out loud a couple times at just how clinically Olive was viewing what was going on. I was a little sad when the book ended. I had grown to really care about Olive and Adam (and Malcolm too… he’s hilarious) so closing the book was like saying goodbye to friends. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy smart, funny romances.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 109
Pages Read in 2022: 38,404
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: It sounded interesting, Romance

The Do-Over by Bethany Turner

The Do-Over by Bethany Turner

The Do-Over is a really cute book that is more or less predictable, but in all the ways you want a romcom to be predictable. While I found it easy to put the book down as needed, I did look forward to picking it back up when I had more time to read. While the end was perfect, I wish there had been a little bit more and it kept going for at least a few more pages. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy clean romantic comedies.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 73
Pages Read in 2022: 26,404
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Book Club, Romance

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Regretting You is an emotional roller coaster that sucks you in and squeezes your heart as the characters deal with grief and betrayal. It is predictable in all the perfectly predictable ways with the ending you hope for the whole time. It reads fast and is hard to put down. It alternates between the points of view of the mom and the teenage daughter which results in very effectively reminding people that communicating with those you love is the most important thing. I highly recommend it to adults who enjoy romances and having their hearts put into a blender.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 72
Pages Read in 2022: 26,084
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: We Be Book'N, Romance

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

If the Shoe Fits is cheesy, funny, and predictable in all the best ways. It’s set on a reality dating show set up like the Bachelor. I’ve never watched a single episode of the Bachelor, but I don’t live under a rock so I know pretty much how they go and the author really portrayed it well (including the complete absurdity and unreality of it all). The body positivity and representation is excellent and works naturally into the story. The end was exactly what I wanted it to be. The only problem I had with the book was a few editing issues that annoyed me (such as calling a flight from New York to Los Angeles transatlantic and misspelling brakes as breaks). It’s just such pleasant brain candy. I recommend it to adults who want a little mind vacation.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 56
Pages Read in 2022: 20,190
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: We Be Book'N, Romance

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

There is no doubt the writing in Reminders of Him is beautiful. The romance is lovely. The ending is wrapped up in a perfect happy (albeit rather rushed) bow following lots of heartbreak and sadness and hope along the way. The way Ledger was so conflicted between whether he should hate or love Kenna and if he was betraying people he cared about by falling in love with her was written so incredibly well. I probably would’ve given this book 5 stars if I didn’t have experience with foster care, that’s how good it is. The thing is, I feel like the author did absolutely no research. The story would’ve been very different if she had. The way parental rights termination happened wasn’t accurate. The fact it wasn’t a CPS case even though she gave birth in jail was all wrong. Because her mother’s rights were terminated and the father was dead, Diem was technically parentless (meaning she would’ve been a ward of the state) so it seemed odd the grandparents hadn’t adopted her yet. A big deal was made about how her rights were terminated because her sentence was so incredibly long. She served 5 years and since she was in jail when the child was born, she got out when the kid was still just 4. That’s not an incredibly long sentence or a long time for the child to remain in kinship care with her grandparents, without rights being terminated, and have regular visitation with her mother. The way the nearly 5-year-old Diem accepted her biological mother without hesitation and seemed to attach to her super easily and instantly was meant to be heartwarming but instead just threw up all the red flags in my mind wondering if she had RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and at the very least disordered attachment (even though no other relationships in her life indicated she did). I spent so much time while reading it being annoyed by how wrong she got foster care, I just didn’t feel the intense feelings other readers talk about. I recommend the book to adults who enjoy emotional stories with lots of romance, but you might want to skip it if you have experience with foster care or you may just end up more annoyed than anything else.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 23
Pages Read in 2022: 8199
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reason: We Be Book'N, Romance

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Lovely War by Julie Berry

I love how these two love stories were told in turns by various Greek gods. They each had their own distinct voice and contributed very different parts to the stories. The book reads very fast. I was surprised to see how long it is after I read it. The love stories are sweet and sometimes heartbreaking. I found myself caring very deeply about the characters. It’s just an all around excellent book. I highly recommend Lovely War to anyone who enjoys historical fiction/clean romance with a bonus if they also like Greek mythology.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 15
Pages Read in 2022: 5751

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Book Club, Reason: We Be Book'N, Romance

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Regency romance is not a genre I typically read or enjoy. I read Frederica for my book club. I definitely would not have read it otherwise. It is very long and drags on, though the phrasing of things is often very cute. I knew for the most part how it would end before I had finished a quarter of it. If I enjoyed this genre, I likely would have given it five stars, but because I really don’t, and often found reasons NOT to read it (and barely finished it in time for my book club meeting), I gave it three because I didn’t hate it and found it enjoyable enough. I recommend it to people who enjoy regency romances.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 84
Pages Read in 2021: 27,137

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Filed under Reason: Book Club, Romance

Dr. Andrews by Andrea Kate Pearson

Dr. Andrews by Andrea Kate Pearson

Dr. Andrews is a clean, sweet romance. It’s a quick read and lots of fun. I always enjoy enemies turned lovers book and this one adds the twist of a history between the two characters. Everything turns out exactly how I wanted it to, all tied up with a nice, happy bow. I love that the main setting is a hospital adding a medical backdrop to the story. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys clean romance and wants to read a quick, comfortable book in that genre.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 82
Pages Read in 2021: 26,626

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Filed under Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author, Romance