5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Bookish Posts · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · mental health · Women's Fiction

The Best Book! | ARC Review | The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

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The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Published: April 2, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 304

Genres: contemporary romance, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, mental health

Rating: 5 stars

Recommend to fans of: books with all the feels, good representation of people on the autism spectrum

Foodie Vibes: cherry wine coolers 

 

Synopsis:

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

 

Review:

I won this book for free through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads, Tracey Garvis Graves and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC copy. As always, an honest review from me. 

The book is absolutely amazing! There are not enough words to accurately describe how wonderful the read was, so I’m not even going to try. I will just say this: I’ve never done this before — not given a full in depth review of a book. That’s how special I found The Girl He Used to Know. But take my word for it, read this book! 

 

Do you ever feel like you don’t have the words to explain how amazing a book, movie, feeling is?

Bookish Posts

My Top 20 Books of 2018

Because there are waaaaay too many AMAZING BOOKS to limit the list to only 10 

 

Click on the title link to go to my review of each book to hear all the reasons why it’s an awesome book!

In no particular order . . . my favorite books I read this year 

 

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  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele  |  Add to Goodreads

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  • Well That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey  |  Add to Goodreads

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How many of these books have you read?

Which did your add to your TBR?

What are your favorite books that you’ve read in 2018?

5 Star Books · Book Reviews · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · LGBTQIA+ Books · Young Adult

The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

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The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

Published: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Pages: 284

Genres: young adult, contemporary romance, contemporary fiction, LGBTQIA+

Rating: 5 stars

Recommend to fans of: summer fun books with substance, adorable romances, books about bloggers

Foodie Vibes: the best burger you can get

 

Synopsis: 

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn’t expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it’s a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes.

Then again, nothing is going as expected this summer. She’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win a paid job at the boutique. She’s somehow managed to befriend Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro type who needs help in a project that involves eating burgers across L.A.’s eastside. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel like a sidekick. Is it possible Abby’s finally in her own story?

But when Jordi’s photography puts Abby in the spotlight, it feels like a betrayal, rather than a starring role. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image that other people have of her?

Is this just Abby’s summer of fashion? Or will it truly be The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

 

Review:

The Summer of Jordi Perez is the perfect book for a late summer read. Fashion, photography, pink hair, fruit patterned dresses, internships, new relationships, and the search for the best burger in town. It’s a winning combination to create a fun but substantial read. Even though we look nothing alike (her fashion sense is way better than mine) I definitely relate to Abby. She’s unsure of herself, doubting her abilities, even though she’s very talented. I also appreciated that Abby’s whole personality doesn’t revolve around being gay. It’s discussed with her friends and family, and she has a girlfriend. But it doesn’t define her as a character. She’s so much more than one thing. And a book with characters who blog, Abby and her mother, a definite win for me!

There are very few things that I disliked in the book. As with many young adult books, some of the situations could have easily resolved with communication. However, it’s realistic that teenagers may not be great at communication and problem solving all the time. 

The Summer of Jordi Perez is seriously cute! I cannot get enough of it. I hope the author writes a sequel or other books with similar vibes. I highly recommend it!

 

Have you read The Summer of Jordi Perez?

How many of you have dyed your hair a fun color before?

Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Nobody officially tagged me for this, but a ton of people have said they tag everyone . . . and since I’m a part of everyone, here we go

 

  1. Best book that you’ve read so far in 2018?

Oooh, this is a tough one, because it’s just way too hard to pick the best book of 2018! Narrowing it down to my top 5 or 10, sure, that I can do. Buuuut, if I have to choose, I would pick:

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James 

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Murders, deaths that may or may not be accidental, haunted boarding schools, disturbed teenage girls. What more could a reader possibly want in a creepy, can’t put down book?

 

2. Best sequel that you’ve read so far in 2018?

Find Her by Lisa Gardner (#8 in the Detective D.D. Warren Series)

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First book that I read in 2018!

Lisa Gardner does not disappoint with her jam packed novel, filled with suspense, intensity, and the courageous Detective D.D. Warren. If I’m looking for a good solid mystery/thriller I can always count on Lisa Gardner.

 

3. New release that you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

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The cover is gorgeous!

I keep seeing Tell Me Lies all over the book world of social media. So many people have loved it, and I hope it’s worth all the hype!

 

4. Most anticipated release for the next half of 2018?

So hard to choose. I want to read all the books!

Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar

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I know, I know, such a nerdy choice. There’s something about a good medical book, fiction or non fiction, that I absolutely love.

 

5. Biggest disappointment of 2018?

The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld by T.J. English

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So many people loved it. The description made the story seem epic, but I absolutely crawled through every page. Definitely not the book for me.

 

6. Biggest surprise of 2018?

Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik 

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I went into the book thinking the premise sounded interesting. I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeous writing and storytelling about the spirited controversial Iranian poet. A close second to my favorite book of the 2018.

 

7. Favorite new (or new to you) author?

Courtney Milan!

She is the romance author I’ve been looking for. I enjoy some romance novels, but am picky about the writing, plot lines, etc. Courtney Milan ended up being the perfect fit for me.

 

8. Newest fictional crush?

I don’t get fictional crushes on characters. Everyone talks about book boyfriends, and I’m over here by myself like “I don’t get it.”

 

9. Newest favorite character?

Mikki Lincoln in Crime & Punctuation 

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Smart, savvy, generally badass ~ and bonus points for a good representation of the 50 plus years characters

 

10. A book that made you cry?

Most recently,

The Crate: A Story of War, A Murder, and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison 

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There are barely enough words to describe how impactful The Crate is on people. Definitely recommend giving it a read!

 

11. A book that made you happy?

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery 

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The author’s passion for these incredible creatures makes it almost impossible to not experience joy while reading the book.

 

12. The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received in 2018?

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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The cover has an ethereal beauty to it, almost as if it’s painted with watercolors. Underneath the jacket cover the spine has a beautiful simplicity to it.

Bonus fact: Love and Ruin is the book I used in my profile photo.

 

13. What books do you need to read by the end of 2018?

So many! Too many!

Is there a thing as having too many books to read?

I actually stopped requesting books from NetGalley for a bit until I finish reading a few more books, because I was feeling way too overwhelmed.

As of now I need to read:

  • From NetGalley:
    • The Secret by K.L. Slater
    • A Politically Incorrect Feminist by Phyllis Chesler
    • When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
  • From Goodreads Giveaways:
    • The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
    • Dead in the Water by Simon Bower
    • The Fifth to Die by J.D. Baker
    • Rush by Lisa Patton
    • Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood
    • All the Way by Kristen Proxy
    • Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly
    • The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker
    • Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly 
  • And the books I choose for the BookTube-A-Thon. (There’s some overlap from the above lists, but I can’t complete a few of the challenges with my ARC reads.)
  • Also a few more books to complete the 2018 BookRiot Read Harder Challenge. I’m making good progress on this so far.

Anybody else exhausted by reading the list of books I need to read?

 

Since I’m probably one of the last people in the book blogging community to complete this tag; I tag anyone else who wasn’t done it yet.