First Comes Love by Emily Giffin Book Review

4 Stars

I didn’t know what I was getting into with this book. I did that one thing you’re not supposed to do — I judged this book by its cover — and assumed it was going to be a light summer romance. It is actually in the women’s fiction genre, a genre that I pretty much avoid. The big surprise here though, is that I really enjoyed it. I stayed up late 2 nights to get it finished and was thoroughly satisfied at the end.

First Comes Love is written in dual point of view, a literary device that I almost always enjoy, and this time was no exception. It follows the lives of sisters, Josie and Meredith, who have a tenuous relationship at best. They’ve never really gotten along, but after the death of their brother 15 years ago their family fractured and never healed. I adored Josie, but found Meredith hard to stomach. As the tale progresses you begin to see why she’s so harsh and by the end I no longer hated her. If Meredith had been the sole point of view, I doubt I would have finished the book because once you got behind the gorgeous, put together facade of her life, her story was sad.

Josie was not without her faults, but for the most part she made me smile. An excerpt from Josie’s inner monologue on the first day of school:

I’m so excited to get to know each and every one of you, and the includes you, Edie Carlisle. Did your father tell you that he dumped me right before he married your mother and had you? I will do my best not to hold this against you, but please show a little mercy and keep your happy-home anecdotes to a minimum.

First Comes Love is a story about sibling love and loss, secrets, heartaches and forgiveness. It would be an excellent book club choice because there are so many subjects to discuss that everyone should have something to say about it. I found it beautifully put together and I left it feeling warm and fuzzy. My favorite way to end a book.

First Comes Love is being released June 28, 2016.

Buy FIRST COMES LOVE Here – (Kindle)

Buy FIRST COMES LOVE Here – (Hardcover)

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

5 Stars!

 Where to start? I heard that this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but I have no experience with the story other than watching the Disney classic as a child. For me, there were vague similarities that I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t known it was a retelling. Other than that, it was an original story that I devoured. DEVOURED.
I picked it up on Audible, not really expecting to love it as much as I did. I usually listen to audiobooks while doing the dishes at night (after the kids are asleep). It’s become part of my nightly ritual that I love, so I always have at least 3 books going. 1 audiobook, 1 ebook, and a physical book. I’m not really an auditory type of person, so the audiobooks usually take me much longer to read because I only listen to them at that specific time of day. Generally a month or more per book.  So it was nice, that I was able to pretty much listen to the story all day (and still get stuff done). What was not great, was that every time my children asked me a question they got a “what?” followed by a sigh as I pulled out my earbuds so I could solve the next child crisis. Luckily, that was for only one day because like mentioned before, I couldn’t stop listening.
I’ve heard so much hype about Sarah J. Maas and honestly expected to be disappointed. I just finished a book that, in my opinion, was overly hyped in the YA Instagram segment. I absolutely hated it. (OK, I lie.) I didn’t hate the book, I hated the ending. But back to A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR), Sarah Maas created a tremendously magical world that I was able to believe in. I was swept away into the magic of this world and didn’t want to leave. Not for one minute. I was enchanted by the deeply layered characters (though I didn’t feel Tamlin got quite enough build). The next book is already out, and I can’t wait to start it. I have no idea how I will wait for the 3rd book. If I love A Court of Mist and Fury as much as I loved ACOTAR, then the wait will be torturous. Luckily for me, she has another series I haven’t read that I hope to love just as much.

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

5 Magical Stars

I will freely admit that the reason I originally wanted to read this book was the cover. I mean, look at it, it is GORGEOUS. And then while I was busy ogling the cover, I noticed at the very bottom that it was written by the author of The Paper Magician (a book I’ve never read, but heard tremendous things about). I do own the book, its just never made it to the top of my TBR list. After reading Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet — The Paper Magician (along with every other book written by Charlie N. Holmberg) has skyrocketed to the top of my To-Be-Read list.

The premise of the book sounds magical enough. Maire is a baker that is able to infuse emotions and abilities into her baked goods. The resulting delight passes the emotion/ability on to the lucky patron that indulges in it. The only problem? She doesn’t know how she does this… Or even who she is.

The writing is magical from the start.

It’s when I stand that I see him ahead of me, hovering in the grove of trees. Their leaves filter the sunlight into wide beams, but the bands of light pass right through him, as though he were nothing more than a shadow.

That strange sensation returns, quickening my heart, prickling my fingers.

Blinking to ensure I do see him, I step forward, careful to avoid the roach’s path. He has a man’s shape, yes, but strange wings stem from above either elbow. Narrower than a bird’s, they seem to be shaped from sunlit water rather than feathers. He hovers a few feet above the ground, yet the wings don’t flap, nor do they look large enough to support him.

The entire book is written like that. With quiet language that forms powerful images. I couldn’t even narrow that quote down to just a few powerful sentences, because every sentence felt so imperative to the whole.

Starting out, I felt a little off kilter as I was reading. I didn’t recognize any of the names of places and didn’t really know “where” I was in the world. I wasn’t even quite sure if the book was supposed to be taking place in a fantasy world, or on Earth in a historical period. As the book progressed (and Maire remembered more of herself) I felt more at home in the world that she built. It felt like a natural progression. Unsure of the world and not knowing who she was in the beginning and then gradually learning bits and pieces about herself and the world around her. I don’t want to give anything away, but everything came together in a delightful and unexpected way.

The ending was unlike anything I had prepared for. As I was reading I was falling in love with this book and these characters. I was sure that I would be disappointed when it ended because I believe the best books usually need more than one book to fully tell their story. I was dreading the ending because I thought it would feel forced or rushed. The ending was beautiful and extraordinary and unlike anything I have ever read before. And it was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Publication date: June 28, 2016

Buy MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET Here – (Kindle)

Buy MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET Here – (Paperback)

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review BUT I loved it so much I preordered a physical copy for my bookshelf.

Crave Me by M. Robinson (The Good Ol’ Boys)

4 Heart Wrenching Stars

This is my first experience with M. Robinson, and now I have to go back and read the rest of the books in this series to complete my existence. I read this book a few weeks ago, but it’s taken me a long time to emotionally wrap my brain around it. When I finished reading Crave Me… I was emotionally drained. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that so completely wrung every emotion out of me. Even now, 2 weeks later, trying to write a review for this book is almost torturous, because how do you talk about something that ripped your heart to pieces and then slowly sewed them back together?

First off, I want to say that while this is a standalone, I think it would be best enjoyed as part of the series. I started this book not knowing that it was part of a series, so I spent a large part of the “childhood” chapters thinking that Briggs and Alex were the same girl. I also didn’t understand why there was so much detail about his childhood friends, so I kept waiting for them to play a larger part in the story. I didn’t realize that their stories had already been told in previous books. BUT that being said, this is a standalone, and you will get completely invested in this couple even without having read the other stories. I rated this a 4 star book, but honestly believe that had I read the rest of the series prior to this that I would be giving it 5 stars.

Buy CRAVE ME Here – (Kindle)

Buy CRAVE ME Here – (Paperback)

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.