July 2020 Book Review

Hi Friends! How are you?

Apologies on the scattered posting schedule this week, I’m having an unproductive week where I’m procrastinating on everything I have to do and having a hard time focusing.

But, today I’m sharing another Book Review! I haven’t done one since January so this is going to be a bit of a long one and I’ll be talking about 13 books in total. One of my goals this year was to read 30 books. Last year I aimed for 100 and failed so I decided to lower the bar this year. So far I’m at a total of 17 books so I’m more than halfway there!

July 2020 Book Review

Book Review by popular NYC life and style blog, Live Laugh Linda: image of a woman sitting and reading a book by Laura Hankin and Emily Henry.

The Mister by E.L James

This is the second series from E.L James who is also the author of Fifty Shades of Grey which was incredibly popular. I will admit, I actually enjoyed the Fifty Shades trilogy when I read it in college, so I had high hopes for this new series. But honestly, I was so disappointed. Its ridiculously long, which I think is in part to how it was written. There are full chapters of just dialogue or thoughts with one or two words per line. The plot made no sense, there was no chemistry between the characters, no character development. It was truly all over the place. I don’t even want to give a summary of the plot because I couldn’t even tell you what the plot was.

Roomies by Christina Lauren 

I’ve read over 10 books by writing duo Christina Lauren so I love their work and Roomies did not disappoint. The story centers around Holland and Calvin. Calvin is a busker so he plays music in the subway. Holland has a major crush on him and takes the subway where Calvin plays just to see him. They have a few chance encounters and Holland introduces Calvin to her uncle who is a famous Broadway producer who wants him for the starring role. The only problem is that Calvin is here illegally as his student visa expired years ago so Holland and Calvin get married for the sake of a green card. The story follows them through this new and ” fake” relationship. I thought the story was so charming and loved both main characters. You really grow to love them and cheer them on. This is just a great rom-com and such an easy read.

Anna K by Jenny Lee

This was my first Book Of The Month pick and I was so excited to get my hands on this because my friend Emma had raved about it. I was in the airport in Vietnam refreshing the app to see what the February picks would be and was thrilled to see this plus it’s by Asian author which I love! This is supposed to be a modern day version of the Russian novel Anna Karenina. I will admit, I was not familiar with the story so I went into this blind and oh my god, this book broke my heart. I won’t get into the plot too much to avoid any spoilers plus the story focuses on several different characters. It’s definitely similar to Gossip Girl in that it takes place in NYC, focuses on wealthy Upper East Side teens and the crazy drama that surrounds them. The difference is that two of the main characters are Asian American which I loved to see! This book was great, I was hooked from the first page and it’s really interesting to see how everyone’s story intertwines.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Helen Hoang is one of my favorite authors. She has two published books out and one on the way in 2021 and I’ve loved both of her books. She is a Vietnamese American author who has autism and her personal story is so interesting and I think she offers such a unique perspective to her work. I’m a big fan of rom-com novels and not only does she write amazing rom-com novels, but she focuses on Asian American characters that live with Autism or Asperger’s. The Kiss Quotient focuses on Stella who has Autism and while she has an amazing career, is inexperienced when it comes to her love life. She hires Michael who is an escort to teach her how to be intimate and in a relationship. But, what starts as a business relationship turns into something more. I adored this book so much. I loved both characters. I laughed with them. I cried with them. I got emotionally attached. Everything was just perfect. I also highly recommend reading Helen Hoang’s other novel, The Bride Test.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

One of my friends recommended this book to me on Instagram since I love rom-com books and I’m so happy I read this one because I loved it. The story focuses on Georgie and Travis. Georgie’s family runs a successful home renovation business, she is the youngest of her siblings and is never taken seriously. Travis is her older brother’s best friend who she’s always had a crush on. He played for the MLB until he got injured and returned to his hometown. Georgie sets out to be seen as more than just “the little sister” to everyone especially Travis. I really enjoyed following Georgie & Travis’s relationship, but I also loved that each of them had pretty big character developments. This was just a quick and fun read.

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

I really had high hopes for this one and it had been on my “to read” list for a while, but honestly I was pretty disappointed. The story focuses on Emily and Simon. Emily moves to a small town in Maryland for the summer to help her sister recover from a ¬†car accident. Her niece wants to take part in the Renaissance Faire so Emily has to volunteer as well where she meets the English teacher Simon. He’s incredibly uptight and rude to her and takes the Faire very seriously so the two of them butt heads. The plot follows their relationship plus the road to the Renaissance Faire. I really wanted to like this one, but struggled to get through it honestly. I felt like there was no character development and a lot of unnecessary information that dragged on. Hear me out, I know this takes place in a Renaissance Faire, I understand that, but there was so much information surrounding the Faire. It really set a scene for you, but at times it just felt like too much. Like a good 5 pages on just the forest. I was pretty disappointed.

Book Review by popular NYC life and style blog, Live Laugh Linda: image of a woman sitting and reading a book by Laura Hankin and Emily Henry.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Probably the sweetest, most wholesome book I’ve read so far this year. Such a quick, easy and light read. The story focuses on Pepper & Jack, two high school students. Pepper’s family runs a very successful national fast food chain. Jack’s family owns a small mom and pop shop in NYC. Pepper’s family business is accused of stealing a grilled cheese recipe from Jack’s family business which starts a Twitter war between the two shops. Both Pepper & Jack are behind the social media Twitter war although they are unaware that they are fighting with each other. To top it off, they both attend school together and they are both on a popular dating app that Jack developed where they matched and have been chatting, but don’t know that they are talking to each other! This was just such a fun and cute read.

Majesty (American Royals #2) by Katherine McGee

If you’ve read my past book reviews then you know that I was obsessed with American Royals last year. It was my favorite book of the year and I recommended it to pretty much everyone. I was really excited to get an advanced digital copy of this new one and devoured it in a few days. This sequel did not disappoint at all. I won’t go too much into the plot, since I talked about it in this post, but the story follows multiple different characters and is told from their different viewpoints which I love. This was just such a great continuation to the first book especially seeing the characters develop and grow. I think the first book hooks you in and you get emotionally invested so by the time you read Majesty you are full on obsessed. Love, love, love this one.

Wasted Words by Staci Hart

Wasted Words is a modern day take of Jane Austen’s Emma and is the first in a series of modern day adaption of Austen novels by Staci Hart. Honestly, what drew me into this was the cover art and the Jane Austen aspect, but I was a little disappointed with this one. The story follows Cam and Tyler, two roommates in NYC. Cam works at a comic book shop/bar and describes herself as the polar opposite of a supermodel so the opposite of Tyler’s type. Tyler was supposed to be a huge NFL star until an injury so he now works as a sports agent. He’s getting over a bad break-up and is already in love with Cam although she made it clear she’s not interested. I really wanted to like this one and I did at certain points in the book, but in others the story just felt so repetitive. Plus Cam was unbearable at times. The story just felt like it went in circles. I thought the idea was cute though and I was satisfied with the ending.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

This was my second Book of the Month! The story follows January and Augustus. January is a romance author, Augustus writes literary fiction that is the complete opposite of January’s work. Their paths cross when they become neighbors in a beach town. They’re both suffering from writers block so they wager a bet that entails each of them writing the opposite of their normal work. This also includes teaching the other about their genre so January takes Augustus on rom-com worthy dates and he takes her to interview cult survivors. I really enjoyed this one. I was honestly so invested in every aspect of this book, between January & Augustus’s personal life, their growing relationship, even the insight into their genres. It honestly hooked me in every step of the way. Such a great read.

Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Definitely one of my favorites for this year. This was another Book of the Month pick and I devoured this in one day. I started this the moment I woke up and stayed up till like 3am finishing it. The story follows wealthy NYC mommies. The Queen B of the group is even a mommy blogger. It also includes Claire, who was recently kicked out of a band that not only replaced her, but made it big once she left. The rich mommies group hires Claire to be the playgroup musician and she comes into the group and unravels everyone. It’s told from multiple different perspectives so you get Claire’s perspective as well as some of the moms. There was so much drama in this one and a few twists and turns that I did not see coming and was shocked!! It was just such a fun read and honestly some parts were so hysterical. I loved this one and I’ve been recommending it to anyone that will listen.

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Another Book of the Month pick! This story follows Samiah and Daniel. Samiah is incredibly successful and works for the biggest tech company in Dallas. She finds out the guy she is seeing at the time is cheating on her through Twitter. She confronts him and befriends the two other women and they become viral social media sensations because of the situation. They all make a pact that they are done with men and are going to instead focus on themselves. Samiah wants to take the time to finally finish her app, until she meets Daniel who is a new coworker. Daniel is THE PERFECT GUY, too perfect, but he has his secrets and tries not to fall for Samiah, but can’t seem to stay away from her. I enjoyed this one. I like how the author really focused on Samiah being a Black woman in the tech world and the pressure she feels from that. I love that the leading lady is successful and strong. However, I do wish that the story focused a little more on Samiah’s friendships. It also got a little work heavy with a lot of tech talk. And I felt like the characters were too perfect at times. There wasn’t really any character development because everyone was already successful. But, overall, I thought this was a really cute and a great read.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth

This book is completely different than what I normally read, but I’ve seen so many people talk about it so I wanted to give it a read and see for myself what it’s about. I want to give a quick disclaimer that this focuses on sexual abuse and is pretty heavy and dark. So if you’re a survivor or sensitive to that material, I would not recommend. My Dark Vanessa is about a 15 year old boarding school student who has an affair with her 40 year old teacher. The story flips between present day and the past when the affair started. You come to understand how the affair started and how she was manipulated, you see how she’s coping today and overall her perspective of the situation. It even explores why she sees it as her “love story”. Honestly, this was so well written and thought out. It was graphic in some parts and it made it really disturbing to read. It was heartbreaking honestly and just made me really sad. I struggled with this one because I do think it’s really well thought out and written, but it’s just so sad. I do think it’s a great read and really educational and eye-opening.

If you’re still with me, then thank you! My last book review was in January hence why this book review was so extensive. I’m going to try and do these book review posts monthly to keep you guys updated on what I’m reading and to avoid another long post like this one!

Thank you so much for stopping by & reading!


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