Friday, May 20, 2022

Blog Tour and Review: Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 17, 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Souce: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "A young woman arrives in Los Angeles determined to start over, and discovers she doesn’t need to leave everything behind after all, from Abbi Waxman, USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.  When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn't expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren't sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work for them."


Laura Costello has had some bad luck. Not only did she leave New York to start over in Los Angeles, while she attempts to restart her life, but her apartment building burns down along with all the stuff in it.  She is now homeless.  Could this get any worse? She wanders into a local bookstore, clearly distraught, and happens upon one of the co-owners, Polly.  Polly, even though she doesn't know Laura well, wants to help her out and offers her an open room at the (illegal, but perfectly respectable) boarding house she lives at.  So, Laura is quickly swept up into this new world filled with quirky people, trivia teams, a charming landlady, and a hot gardener.  Even though Laura has assimilated into this new world somewhat well, she still has a lot of issues to deal with starting with her post-traumatic anxiety surrounding the reasons why she left New York as well as an ex-boyfriend she left behind.  Laura deals with it all in Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman and readers can't help but hope she gets it right this time around.

Laura is a quirky character that I enjoyed from the beginning in Adult Assembly Required. Waxman has a knack for writing realistic characters that are a bit different, but in a lovable way. Laura has anxiety and some PTSD, so many readers will appreciate that she a complex person.  Waxman also has her deal with her issues in a realistic way, which I appreciated.  I did enjoy the fact that Laura interacts with characters from The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, including Nina herself, which was a lot of fun as I adored that novel.  

The secondary characters in Adult Assembly Required are also well done. I enjoyed their side stories and especially the setting of the bookstore. I will never tire of a good bookstore setting!  Laura also has a chance for romance and did I mention there's Bob, a hot gardener? But her ex-boyfriend complicates things further for her. Do you see a pattern here? Adulting is hard.  Laura is determined to figure things out before she starts school, which is what initially brought her to Los Angeles.

Waxman is one of the best when it comes to witty dialogue complete with quirky characters that you can't help but love. The dialogue and flawed characters are what brings me to Waxman's novels, so if you appreciate a story like that, then Adult Assembly Required is a good choice for you. While I didn't enjoy this novel as much as The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, it was still a charming read about starting over.

So, are you a fan of Abbi Waxman? Is Adult Assembly Required on your summer TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Book Review: The No-Show by Beth O'Leary

Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Fiction /Audio Book
Pub. Date: April 12, 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Switch
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they're involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O'Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.  Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.  These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They've all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up--Valentine's Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they've all been stood up by the same man.  Once they've each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go....  Is there more to him than meets the eye? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?"



It's Valentine's Day and Siobhan is waiting for her date, Joseph Carter, at a restaurant. He never shows up. Things were just starting to transition from a simple hookup to something more, that is until he left her alone on Valentine's Day.  Then there's Miranda who also has a lunch date with Joseph. He also doesn't show up.  See a connection here? Lastly, there's Jane, a bookish girl, who has told her coworkers that Joseph Carter is her boyfriend so they would stop trying to set her up.  Joseph agrees to help Jane out, but then he doesn't show up to a escort Jane to her event. All three ladies, seemingly different in every way have one thing in common: they have all been stood up by Joseph Carter.  As the story unfolds O'Leary gives us a glimpse into each relationship and has readers questioning how these three unrelated women might have a connection to one another.  More importantly, should any of them waste their time on Joseph and what's his deal? Beth O'Leary's rom-com, The No-Show, will tug on your heartstrings while keeping readers guessing.

O'Leary did a good job developing all three women in The No-Show.  Siobhan is a life coach, but she is being played by Joseph, so that's a bit awkward.  She is the most confident of the three women though and the most successful.  Then there's Miranda, who is an arborist, and finds herself in a male dominated industry in which the men often treat her as one of the guys.   Lastly, there's Jane, who I enjoyed the most, but that should come as no surprise as she is a bookworm, volunteers at a charity shop, and is quiet sort of person. But don't underestimate Jane! She is hiding some major secrets.  All three women were stood up by Joseph and O'Leary slowly unravels the story for us and also takes us through how their relationships play out.  I kept wondering how all three women's stories would blend together, but without a doubt, O'Leary does a good job of piecing it all together.

At first The No-Show read like my favorite type of rom-com. It made me laugh out loud, but then it took a quick turn. Surprisingly, it turned into a mystery of some sorts and even included some suspense. I wasn't expecting this! The story did tug on my heartstrings as well.  O'Leary somehow made me feel for Joseph, too.  I think that illustrates how good of a writer she is as I really didn't like him in the beginning, but once his backstory is fleshed out a bit more I found him to be surprisingly likeable.  

I alternated between the audio book and the e-galley of The No-Show and I have to say that I preferred the audio version. The audio book narrators did a great job bringing each woman to life as there was an excellent cast of narrators that captured each character perfectly. It was truly well done.  So, if you are looking for a heartwarming story that does tackle some deeper issues, check out The No-Show this summer. At the heart of the story, The No-Show is about second chances.

So, are you a fan of Beth O'Leary? Have you read any of her other novels? Is The No-Show on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Blog Tour: Anything But Pink

I've got another new picture book coming your way today! I'm part of the blog tour for Anything but Pink by J.C. Benthin and this new children's book has a wonderful message.  We are always telling children to embrace what makes them unique and to appreciate what makes everyone different. I love when picture books reinforce important messages like this and that is the case in Anything but Pink.  To celebrate its recent publication, I have partnered with The Children's Book Review and J.C. Benthin to host a fun giveaway today.


Learn More About the Book:

Anything but Pink
Written by J.C. Benthin 
Illustrated by Andy Catling
Ages 3-8 | 34 Pages
Publisher: Kaleidoscope Volcano | ISBN-13: 978-1733990028

Publisher’s Synopsis: "Zinnia is the only pink person in a very gold world. After being told that pink stinks by a golden bully, she goes on a quest to get rid of her pink for good. Along the way, Zinnia learns a valuable lesson. Will she embrace her unique pink, or will she change to be just like everyone else?"
You can purchase your own copy of Anything but Pink at Amazon, Bookshop and Barnes & Noble.  You can learn more about J.C. Benthin by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  

The Giveaway:


I've partnered with The Children's Book Review and J.C. Benthin to host a fantastic giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Anything but Pink and a "Pink is Unique" tote.  Two lucky winners will receive a signed copy of Anything but Pink.  Good luck!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Blog Tour: My Summer Darlings

There are so many great beach reads coming out this summer. I love a fluffy beach read as much as the next person, but sometimes I want to throw a suspenseful thriller in my beach bag. When I heard about My Summer Darlings by May Cobb, I added it to my TBR list immediately. My Summer Darlings comes out today and I can't wait to read it! 



Learn More About the Book:



Goodreads says, "Three lifelong friends plus a dangerous, sexy new stranger in town add up to a scorching summer of manipulation, obsession, and murder, from the acclaimed author of The Hunting Wives. A woman in the forest thinks she’s going to die. I know he’s coming back for me.  Jen Hansen, Kittie Spears, and Cynthia Nichols have been friends since childhood. They are now approaching forty and their lives have changed, but their insular East Texas town has not. They stay sane by drinking wine in the afternoons, dishing about other women in the neighborhood, and bonding over the heartache of their own encroaching middle age and raising ungrateful teens.  Then Will Harding comes to town, moving into one of the neighborhood’s grandest homes. Mysterious and charming, he seems like the answer to each woman’s prayers. He’s a source of fascination for Jen, Kittie, and Cynthia, but none of them are ready for the way Will disrupts their lives.  As Will grows closer with each of the women, their fascination twists into obsession, threatening their friendships and their families. When he abruptly pulls away, each woman scrambles to discover the source of his affection. But what they’ll uncover is far more sinister and deadly than any of them could have ever imagined."


You can purchase your own copy of My Summer Darlings at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Bookshop.   You can connect with May Cobb on Facebook, InstagramTwitter or visit her website.

So, let me know what you think. Is My Summer Darlings on your TBR list? Do you enjoy a good thriller in the summertime? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday

The past few years have been very challenging for everyone, including children. Oftentimes we think of children as being very resilient, but change is hard for all age groups; plus, sometimes you just have a bad day. I love when picture books lend themselves to discussions of bigger issues like dealing with change, the importance of friendship, and having a positive mindset. That's the big message in a new picture book called Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday by Alysson Foti Bourque.  I have partnered with The Children's Book Review and Alysson Foti Bourque to host a giveaway to celebrate its recent publication.

Learn More About the Book:


Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday
Written by Alysson Foti Bourque
Illustrated by Chiara Civati
Ages 3-8 | 32 Pages
Publisher: Pelican Publishing | ISBN-13: 9781455626489

Publisher’s Synopsis: "Alycat wakes up to seafood gumbo for breakfast, and even though her house is the first stop for the school bus, the bus is already full when she boards. Alycat’s whole day is turning topsy-turvy. What is happening? Young readers will tag along on Alycat’s adventures during her very “cattywampus” Wednesday and learn that a little help from some friends and a good attitude can make your day."


You can purchase your own copy of Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble.  It just came out this week! Also, you can learn more about the Alycat series by visiting the website and connecting with Alysson Foti Bourque on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.  

The Giveaway:

Thanks to The Children's Book Review and Alysson Foti Bourque, I am hosting a giveaway! One winner will receive a copy of Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday by Alysson Foti Bourque and a plush Alycat.   


Good luck,

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