“Fire snapped through me as I summoned the sword and felt it respond, hot and heavy in my grasp. I was nothing more than storm and fury…”
First, I super very much enjoyed The Dark Elements (TDE) trilogy. However, this one was 👏🏼👍🏼👌🏼🤟🏼YES! SO gooood! I can see how Storm & Fury can be a stand alone BUT the revelation at the end about the “mistake” makes it SO much more scream-shock inducing 😱 if you’ve read TDE first. Layla and Roth from TDE appear in this book and it was cool to see Bambi again 🐍. Obsessed with all of Roth’s Disney themed familiars. TDE aside…Zayne. Sigh. Swoon. 🥰 In Storm & Fury we meet Trinity. She has vision difficulties from a genetic disease, harbors secrets, and has been in hiding, fiercely guarded by her Warden Protector, Misha. Zayne and Trinity must work together as a supernatural war is unleashed. I ship you Trin and Zayne and I cannot wait until Rage & Ruin! JUNE 9th! Ps. To take S&F to the next level, read the acknowledgments… I definitely feel more empathic to everything in between the blind and the seeing. Just as Jennifer aspired to do through Trinity. Hoping for a cure to retinitis pigmentosa. You’re amazing, Jennifer Armentrout and I will read and buy everything you write! ALL the stars…The ones you can see and the ones you cannot. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
YGM!! YGM!! That’s You’ve Got Mail people. I quite enjoyed this story. YA contemporary romance. Instead of a review, how about some quotes?
- “Well, you don’t have a California accent, but you do sort of sound like a British Tinker Bell.”
- “‘Hello, ladies’. My heart rate jumps to a five on the Richter scale. I attempt to look casual, stay cool as I turn to my right. But there he is, hand braced on my locker door, and whatever self-control I tried to muster just blows away like paper napkins on a windy day.”
- “Bailey, I’ve been yours. I’ve just been waiting for you to make up your mind”
- “Two people who lived in two different places and found each other, not once but twice? You could stick one of us in Haiti and the other in a rocket headed to the moon and we’d still eventually be doing this right now.”
- “‘We spend our lives trying to find other people. Sometimes we get confused and turned around by the distractions’. He smiles at me. ‘But we didn’t'”.
Good Reads Synopsis
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.
Schools. Out. For. Summer (Ever). Hashtag crying not crying. Absolutely crying. I really miss prek! And eating lunch with adults and space away from home. Sad trombone. Anyway, peep some books that are THE perfect summer story. Or re-reads like Second Chance Summer and TSITP. ADORE! Morgan Matson is lyfe. Jenny Han is queen of YA. Ps. I realize I am way too old to be saying lyfe. But NEVER too old for YA. Check out my summer TBR! Clickable links for review/synopsis!
- Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (back list)
- The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han (back list)
- East Coast Girls by Kerry Kletter published 5/26/2020
- The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis published 6/2/2020
- 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand published 6/16/202
“To always, for forever and ever.”
Alright. I am going to read anything and everything Jill Shalvis writes. Including her grocery list. Clinging to 🍋The Lemon Sisters 🍋like Saran Wrap while squealing in a pitch not meant for humans: I LOVED IT! Like I made 25 highlights loved it. Stories about sisters just delight me 🤗. If you’re a mother you’d ROTFL at all the super relatable moments: the vomit🙈, fight club (boy mom), privacy going the way of the dodo bird, bedtime routine 😖, the desire to lay in bed and rest for a couple of YEARS 😴, ya know? Here’s the thing about Brooke (adventurous and single) and Mindy Lemon (“perfect” and married)… they were night and day. Oil and water. Apples and oranges. But they were sisters, blood, and they belonged together. They both needed a wake up call. So they change places: Mindy stays in LA in the throes of her mommy meltdown and Brooke heads back to their hometown with three little kids in tow. After seven years away, Brooke comes face-to-face with the six-foot-tall blast from the past, 🥰 Garret 🥰. He spent their teenage years as the third musketeer to Brooke and Mindy. But Brooke is v good at what she does. Which is hiding. Are the sisters lemons in life? In love? Read to find out! The perfect summer (quarantine) story! Heads up on some possible triggers: fear of not being enough, abandonment, infertility. You can now find me with another Jill Shalvis contemporary romance, some sweet lemon 🍋🍞 bread, and a fresh pitcher of 🍋 lemonade. Okay, byeeee.
Second Chance Summer. Hugging for life. Gosh. I was blinking back tears hoping my eyeballs 👀 would eventually dry out. Otherwise, I was going to need a part-time job at a tissue factory aka Kleenex 😭. After five years away, Taylor and her family head back to their summer lake house 🏡, where she has to face the pain of what she left behind and the devastation to come. I can absolutely see how others can identify with Taylor. She must be a 9… conflict arises and she ghosts 🏃🏼♀️. And her friend, turned boyfriend, turned ex-bf, turned ex-friend, turned friend again, turned bf again (confused much?), Henry… swoon. 🥰 yes, swoon, even through all the dramz. I cherished her sweet relationship with her dad. Their fondness of puns got me good. With that being said, I just burned two thousand calories. That’s the last time I leave 🍪 cookies 🍪 in the oven while I multitask. Bah-duh-tsssss (joke punch line sound)! 😬…. crickets…. yeah. clap👏🏼 it👏🏼 up 👏🏼 for Morgan Matson 👏🏼 A heart-rending 💔 but beautiful story about redemption, love, trust, courage, and of course… second chances.
THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY
“Best friends are important. They’re the closest thing to a sister you’ll ever have”.
This series is magic!! Jenny is amazing at captivating readers. She’s a gifted writer! I cannot fathom how she can tell a story that evokes so much emotion. Major Nostalgic summer vibes! ☀️🌊 I’m hooked! Connie 🥰 I love his brooding James Dean routine… wink 😉 . But the sharing a soda complete with twizzler straws circa 1950s Coke commercial and all Jeremiah’s cuteness. Sigh. This was a great love triangle.. or square? Get outta here Cam Cameron. Cannot wait to read the rest! I have anxiety (the good kind- does that make sense?) I’m ready for summer 🌊☀️
IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU
“I laughed and said, “that’s because you’re coldhearted”. He put my hands in his coat pockets and said in a voice so soft I wondered if I heard him right, “For everyone else, maybe. But not for you”.”
Writing spoiler free is tough! Don’t read any synopsis’ or reviews. Best to read this with the unknown. Also best to read at the same time as your best friend (hi, Carissa) that way you can freak out together. SO much has changed between the Conklin and Fisher families. But one thing remains… for me at least…🎶 We love you Conrad. Oh, yes we do 🎶 hashtag team Connie!!! Even though everything is a mess. And like, where’s Con? 😭 where you at, bro? Jeremiah and Belly team up to find MIA Conrad. The way these books begin and end will leave you BREATHLESS. Gasping 👏🏼 for 👏🏼 air 👏🏼 whew! My stomach is full of 🦋 doing all kinds of ✨ belly ✨flops 😉. The love triangle continues. Is this the last summer with the summer boys crew? Then it needs to end the way it started- at Cousins beach.
WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER
“We were just two teenagers, looking up at the sky on a cold February night. So no, he didn’t give me flowers or candy. He gave me the moon and the stars. Infinity.”
Ok. This series needs/deserves ✨WAY ✨more ✨hype. Dare I say it.. I liked it more than TATBILB 🙈😬 I adore both trilogies but this one utterly mesmerized me. The love triangle continues!! And since you KNOW this is the final book… you KNOW the end is coming😭. Wallowing over here. So who does Belly end up with? Jeremiah, the too busy having fun sweet as pie, heart of gold boy🥰? Or Conrad, the dark, dark, dark, unavailable, unattainable, smirky mouth boy🥰? You MUST read to find out! Ps. Lots of flash backs in these novels.. beginning from age nine and ends with Belly at almost twenty-four.
If you like you’ve got mail 🙋🏼♀️ you’ll LOVE tell me three things. It’s the high school version of Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox. F-O-X. Heads up on some possible triggers: 733 days after Jessie’s mom passed away, her dad up and moves them to LA to be with his new wife (stranger). It was an insta-love, too fast elopement💑. Jessie started her first week of fancy, expensive high school and it’s shaping into a terrible-horrible-no good-very bad 🙈experience. But she receives an anonymous e-mail 📧 from Somebody Nobody (SN). Jessie has no clue who this bizarre alias could be 🤔. I mean she’s new in school. Doesn’t know a single soul. Well, Miss Jessie Holmes definitely flies her nerd flag high, so you best believe she’s going to Sherlock 🕵🏼♀️ this situation to figure out 🧐who SN is. TMTT is near and dear to Julie Buxbaum’s ❤️. She identifies with Jessie as she lost her own mom when she was 14. TMTT is a story about the loneliness of first loss and the beauty of first love. Giddy! And you’ll hyper speed read it because you desperately want to find out who SN is. Like deeeesperately. 5/5 recommend!
Tweet Cute. 📱First, Emma Lord, where can I get the recipe for Monster Cake? And Rainy Day Pudding? And A Plus Angel Cake? Pepper is quite the baker. 😋 Her kitchen may look like the Keebler elves threw a rave in it but the result is absurd deliciousness! The main character, Pepper…. or Pepperoni (thanks, Jack), is the Big League Burger 🍔 princess. Her family owns the massive fast-food chain. She’s eager beaver overachiever and secretly running BLB’s twitter account. Enter, Jack’s 🥰 His family owns Girl Cheesing, the ma’ and pop deli with the yummiest, iconic grilled cheese. That BLB ends up copying and putting on THEIR menu 😱 In the words of Stephanie Tanner… HOW RUDE. So, what do you do when someone does something shady? Tweet about, naturally. Well, these two restaurants end up in an all out, viral, twitter war, complete with snarky memes and retweet battles. BUT who is the mastermind BEHIND these tweets? You’ve Got Mail vibes here, people!! I ship you Pepperjack 🧀. I think you look Gouda together 😉. This one is insufferably cute! I Brie-lieve you will adore this read. Gruyere-nteed LOL moments. 🤣 did I take that one too far? 😝
“…sometimes it’s okay to let a little ugliness into your story. That it would never rob you of all the beauty.”
☀️🌊 I feel like I need to start out with WHY I like to read contemporary romance. It’s v much like the goal of January’s women’s fiction novels. She aims to make readers feel known and understood. Like their stories matter. Here’s where I felt known: January’s BFF snort laughs. Sometimes I snort laugh. January explains 🐽😂 it like “she’s drowning in life. In a good way. Like it’s rushing up her nose, you know?” Yes, January. I knooooow 🙋🏼♀️. Contemporary romance makes the world look different, gives the ugly stuff meaning, and amplifies the good, even even if the world doesn’t doesn’t always look like how it does in books. Gus said that about January’s writing. AND who doesn’t believe in love? Okay, so what’s Beach Read about? January Andrews (fairy princess or crotchety grandmother, who’s to say? 🤣🤷🏼♀️) writes best selling romance. Augustus (I’ve nicknamed him Gus-Gus 🐭) Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. Both are suffering from writers block. Insert the bet: Gus has to write an HEA 🥰 and January will pen the next great American novel. Life has thrown her some ups and down. Most recently some downs. Her father passed away and left her with a beach house (papa Andrew’s mysterious love shack) that happens to neighbor Gus Gus, who is FULL of secrets. Anyway, they go on adventures in romance (rom-com 101 via Meg Ryan Movie night) and research excursions (lit fic field trips to the scene of a death cult, obvi). Romance hero boot camp aside, this book was funny and authentic. I adored the notes the pair wrote through the window (think Taylor Swift music video). The banter and snark elicited cackling and laugh-cries🤣👌🏼. Also, I felt like I gleaned bits of wisdom from January’s journey: “People were complicated. They were collections of feelings and decisions. The world was complicated too. A disastrous, horrible mess speckled with brilliance and love and meaning.” Isn’t that the TRUTH! Everyone should read a good rom-com. LIKE THIS ONE!🥰
🎶 “It’s June in January, because I’m in love.” 🎶
January AKA The longest month ever. Right? I plowed through TEN books last month. Whooping it up for myself. My faves were Kingdom of Ash by SJM (YA fantasy queen) and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. Peep all my reads! None of which are pictured here… I just really like this photo. And Colleen Hoover (contemporary romance queen).
- Winter Storms
- Winter Solstice
- Tower of Dawn
- A Heart so Fierce and Broken
- Kingdom of Ash
- The Unhoneymooners
- Six of Crows
- Crooked Kingdom
- Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
- The Matchmarker
Some unsolicited tips on how to read good. Wink face. Isn’t that from Zoolander? Ponder emoji? Center for kids who can’t read good? Anyway, tips on how to read more. I’m often asked, “how do you read so much”? Because as a mom time is…limited. Slim. Basically nonexistent. I make it a habit! Place your book right where you’ll be reading it (next to the couch or next to your bed), remove your phone from your pocket and leave it in the kitchen, read for 10 minutes a day or for 10 pages and slowly increase as your habit establishes, and choose a genre you love! I truly enjoy escaping into a fictional world. There are so many benefits to reading vs. screen time. Hoping these tips help you carve out more time for reading!
Keep following along @katieprouty for more of my monthly reads.