Welcome back friends!
Today, I'll be discussing Christina Lauren's latest novel.
A million thank yous to Anabel Jimenez over at Gallery Books for my copy. Twice in a Blue Moon comes out October 22, 2019.
Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.
During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world crumbled beneath her.
Fourteen years later, Tate is now an up-and-coming actress who only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. But there Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.
The power duo is back, and this time, they're bringing readers a unique twist on the "second chance" romance.
The first half of this book was everything I wanted it to be. Sam and Tate took me back to when I was fifteen. Their story was magical, captivating, intense, and hopeful—everything someone feels when they meet their first love. But it was also earth-shattering and heartbreaking—a reminder of how it all feels when it ends.
Christina Lauren told the first half of this story perfectly, which is why I was so disappointed when the second half didn't deliver. While i loved how real and imperfect this cast was, I couldn't help but think that Sam and Tate's reunion later in life felt rushed. The first couple of chapters of their second story was as captivating as the first, but in just a couple of days the two had fought, reconciled, and gone to the ends of the earth for each other. It was all too much, too soon.
Despite this, the authors' writing style and character cast was as superb as usual. I may be a bit disappointed with Twice in a Blue Moon, but I can't wait to see what Christina Lauren comes up with next.
Is this latest romance on your TBR list?
Hey there bookworms,
Today, I'm back with a book review!
Crashing the A-List by Summer Heacock
After four months of unemployment, former book editor Clara Montgomery is still stuck sleeping on her little brother’s ugly couch. Determined to keep her minuscule savings account intact, she takes a job clearing out abandoned storage units.
When Clara comes across a unit that was once owned by an escort service, she finds the “résumé” of a younger Caspian Tiddleswich… an astonishingly famous British actor. Her best friend thinks she should sell the gossip to a tabloid to fund her way off the couch from hell, but Clara instead manages to track down Caspian’s contact info, intending to reassure him that her lips are sealed.
Unfortunately, Caspian misinterprets Clara’s attempt at altruism and shows up on her doorstep, accusing her of blackmail. When the paparazzi capture a photo of them together, Caspian’s PR team sees an opportunity to promote his latest film—and if Clara wants to atone for her “crimes,” she’ll have to play along. Pretending to be Caspian’s girlfriend seems like it will be a tolerable, if somewhat daunting, penance… until their fake romance becomes something more than either of them expected.
Here's the deal romance friends.... I really wanted to like this book. But as great as that sounds, Crashing the A-List just didn't do it for me.
I want to start off by saying that Heacock's latest novel features splendid writing and wonderful characters. The book truly is a quick and easy read. While Clara and her best friend's relationship feels forced at times, as a whole, the cast of characters is fun and authentic.
Nonetheless, this wasn't enough to get me to love the book. For starters, the plot seems great at first glance but is actually quite uneventful and repetitive. Almost all 336 pages include Clara and Caspian arguing over Clara's initial intentions. Of course it makes sense when Caspian first confronts her after the voicemail, but after their third screaming match I couldn't help but think "OKAY, I GET IT.... MOVE ON!!!"Another flaw I couldn't get past was the protagonists lack of chemistry. Their entire "love" story felt forced.
Because captivating dialogue and chemistry are essential to any romance story, I just couldn't get behind Crashing the A-List. This book might be a great read for other fans of the genre, but it personally wasn't for me. Nonetheless, the author's fine writing style and the delightful cast makes me consider picking up one of her other novels.
Have you read Summer Heacock's Crashing the A-List?
Today I'm back with something special...
I usually post weekly reviews, but since many of you have asked me questions about my summer experience as a publishing intern, I decided to do a blog post addressing all the questions!
If you're reading this and you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me catch you up... These past two months I spent the summer in New York as professional bookworm. I was given the opportunity to work at Hachette's romance imprint, Forever, where I worked in marketing and publicity. It was the best experience of my life (thus far) and further confirmed my love of all things books.
With that quick update, let's get to the Q&A!
Why did you decide to spend the summer in New York? How did you like it?
I've loved books for as long as I can remember, but only decided that I wanted to make a career out of it about three years ago. I live in South Florida, and while there are some professional literary opportunities here, they're not as abundant as in NYC. I wanted to spend my summer in the literary hub to see if I was really cut out to make it as a professional bookworm!
I had an amazing experience as a Forever intern and miss it everyday. I'm more sure than ever about my love of books and making a career out of my passion. I've very excited to see what the future holds.
How did you become an intern? What steps did you take to get there?
My first internship ever was as a writer for my university's newspaper. Then, months later, I applied for a summer marketing internship at a children's publisher—Santillana USA Publishing. After the summer ended, the publisher hired me as content blogger (a position I still hold.)
Apart from this internship at the publisher, I was also working as an intern for a TV show called Daily Flash. I was only at the show for a couple of months when I started applying to internships in publishing. I applied to a total of 31, and when I got an interview request for Forever I knew that was exactly where I wanted to be.
Every experience is different. So if you're reading this and want to get into publishing, don't think you have to follow my exact journey. Here's my advice:
1. Try your hardest: Apply to as many internships and jobs as you can, take any opportunity that comes your way, and remember that no job is too small.
2. If your dream is to get into the professional book world, do something that shows your love of reading! Work at a bookstore, volunteer at a book festival or at the library, try booktube, etc. Some people may think that bookstagram and book blogging is silly, but believe it or not, AZE was one of the reasons I got my first publishing job.
3. Work hard on your resume and cover letter: This is important because publishing is so competitive. Look up tutorials, ask people for help, and revise your resume as frequently as you can.
What was your favorite part of the internship? What was the most challenging?
Favorite: Meeting such wonderful people—my team, colleagues, and the other interns. Also... all the free books!!!
Most challenging: Trying to remember to not be super hard on myself. I tend to be really critical of myself, and this is sometimes hard when I make a mistake. But I like to remember that I'm learning everyday and that it's okay to mess up!
Most memorable moments?
Walking into Hachette for the first time, the RWA party, our Forever event at Strand bookstore, and my last FAM meeting (it got really mushy).
Did you meet any people who made your experience extra special?
So many!!! Kamrun Nesa, Sabrina Flemming, Jia Alonso, Mikayla Lawrence, Julia Perham, and so many other book friends.
But especially my supervisor, Estelle Hallick. She was the best teacher, and I miss her everyday.
I also can't forget my fellow intern friend, Hannah Towey. Not sure if I would've survived without our lunchtime chats.
What lessons will you take into your career?
Always try your hardest. It's okay to make mistakes. Express your ideas and opinions (respectfully). Be kind and respectful to your colleagues. Accept guidance.
Do I have to be an extrovert to work in publishing?
No! I think that most bookworms have a tendency to be introverted. Books > people... am I right?
But if you're looking to be in sales, subrights, publicity, marketing, or any similar departments, it's important to remember that you'll be talking to new people almost everyday!
How important is networking?
VERY IMPORTANT. Ask for informational interviews, get to know your colleagues and the people in other houses, be friendly and respectful!
What are some books you loved and discovered while working at Forever?
Down too Deep by J. Daniels:
Springtime at Hope Cottage:
Is romance your favorite genre?
I've always been a ride or die for the mystery and thriller genres, but I fell in love with romance books after reading One Day in December by Josie Silver. I've been reading romance books ever since! It's never too late to pick up a book that's out of your "comfort" zone.
Best books you read this summer? Books you're looking forward to reading?
Best books: The Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, Down too Deep by J. Daniels, The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez.
Looking forward to: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager, Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, and everything on my Goodreads WTR shelf.
That's it for me, but if you're curious about something I didn't discuss, don't hesitate to comment on this post or message me!
Hope to hear from you soon. Until next time!
Hi there booksters!
Today, I'll be discussing a wonderful romance by author Beth O'Leary.
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window
I've heard a couple of mixed reviews about this one, but I got to say that I really enjoyed The Flatshare. The story was heartwarming and sweet, the characters were funny and complex--I think this is a book that's going to stay with me for some time.
While I truly did enjoy the plot, the protagonists, and all the post-it note shenanigans, there were two elements I wasn't crazy about: the author's voice and Leon's tone throughout the narrative. Some scenes in the novel felt overly detailed. I actually found myself skimming through excerpts a couple of times from how frequent it was. In regards to Leon's character, like other readers, I also noticed that his tone was strange. The words that come to mind are cold and standoffish.
Despite these two issues I had with The Flatshare, I did like the book overall.
To those who are interested in O'Leary's latest: pick it up and give it a shot! Just remember that if you're a reader who prefers steam and witty banter, this may not be for you.
Have you read The Flatshare?