Morbid Comedy and Romantic

Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating = Christina Lauren

Romance, dating, comedy, fiction

Rating 15/10

As the title gives away much of the idea of the book, however there is more to the story of Hazel Bradford and Josh Im. Hazel and Josh have history together of awkward encounters and ran into each other during a barbeque. Here is the situation, Hazel is undatable due to her chaotic personality and Josh has a serious personality, one would think that the differences in personalities, romance wouldn’t be in the equation. Especially after Josh finds out his girlfriend had been cheating on him with the help of Hazel’s interrogation of nonsense. Plot twist! They come to love each other but deny their chemistry. Josh and Hazel go far as setting each other up with blind double dates that their dates end up together rather with them. As seeing Josh and Hazel think this is just lust, they sleep together, and go on with their lives but the realization of the truth hits them. They are simply meant to be together.

While at the library, in search of a new book to read, this book caught my attention. I promised myself to read this through to see if it’s a guidebook to not dating someone because the title’s name sounds like advice. This book made me laugh so hard at some of the scenes and made me cringe as well. I love Hazel because of her weirdness, she reminds me of myself. How most of my friends and close friends say I am weird but lovable in that way. I had to reread this book because of its hilarious moments and cringe moments. Totally would recommend to those who are not wanting to read just romance but want to read a rom-com.

Lauren, Christina. Josh Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating . Simon & Schuster, 2018.

A Vampire, A Witch, A Book Oh My!

A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

Witches, vampires, demons, drama, romance, fiction, science, magic, sorcery

Rating 7/10

Diana Bishop, a bright and intelligent young scholar who had renounced the witch ancestry she has, studies at Oxford in the Bodleian Library. Diana comes across an alchemical manuscript that immediately has witches, demons, and vampires desiring for the lost text. Mathew Clairmont comes into her life wanting to know more too and gets involved with Diana Bishop in more ways than one. Mathew not only protects her but slowly he falls for her. Even though she is a witch by blood and him being a vampire. Everything is at stake to protect her and the lost manuscript text. Mathew and Diana grow a relationship as well as understanding the manuscript then go on an adventure into the past.

This book was a cliff hanger but it’s the first book in its series. Other than that it was satisfyingly good. Not much other to say about this book. It does have all the elements I look for when wanting to read a book except for the romance. Still not big on romance novels. Only saw this book for the magic, science, and mythological creatures such as vampires, demons, and witches.

Harkness, Deborah E. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Triology #1). Viking, 2011.

Unsuspecting Romance

The Real Deal – Lauren Blakely

Romance, drama, fiction, comedy

Rating 11/10

Meet April Hamilton, a young artist who is desperate for a date for her family’s reunion. Theo Banks is a man who is trying to pay off debts and works as a boyfriend for hire plus bartending as well. When April and Theo go together to her family reunion, certain events lead them closer and closer. Things get pretty hot and heavy for them both. Eventually she feels like she is lying to her family and found out some truths about Theo that he hadn’t told her. She comes out to the truth to her family and so does he with her and to his own family. April pays him but he doesn’t want her money, so he chases the girl he fell in love with on the job. She fell for him too. After all, something that was a gig became the real deal in the end.

Usually I don’t read romance comedies but the back synopsis plus title ensnared my attention. I love how the characters just eventually seeing through the bullshit of the gig and became like real boyfriend and girlfriend. It was funny too the whole trip and events that led them to get closer and hot and heavy. Totally worth rereading.

BLAKELY, LAUREN. REAL DEAL. ST MARTINS Press, 2019.

Cried In A Good Way

Two By Two – Nicholas Sparks

Fiction, romance, newly single father, family

Rating 10/10

Russell Green is a happily married man and had started a family with his wife, Vivian. Russell and Vivian had this beautiful baby girl together whose name is London. Life is great according to Russell until reality seeps in. He hates his job and wanted to branch off on his own. His wife who had taken paternity leave sees this as a threat and gets a job. At first Russell is glad of that but his wife is gone most of the time. His family had told him that he should’ve not married Vivian. Anyways, due to his wife’s spending frenzies things break down badly. Since she is gone most of the time now rather than him being gone, he realized how much he had missed in raising his daughter, London. He takes a journey learning all about his daughter. Slowly as time progress he had found an old flame and rekindling his relationship with her as their kids get along as friends. Russell and Vivian are not on good terms mostly due to her making plans without him being notified first. Her job changes the whole family dynamic and thrusts Russell into being a single parent.

I was not a huge fan of the idea of reading a Nickolas Sparks’ books because of the mainstream books that were turned into films. My friend recommended me one of his books and I had found this instead of the recommended book. I thoroughly had enjoyed this book. It made me laugh, made me cringe, made me angry, and it made me cry. A whole rollercoaster of feelings with just one book. I would recommend reading this one for sure. I plan to reread it again in the near future.

Sparks, Nicholas. Two by Two. Vision, an Imprint of Grand Central Publishing, 2018.

Steamy Romance Ooh La La

Night Owl – M. Pierce

Romance, drama, fiction, online dating, adult situations, explicit, NSFW

11/10

Hannah Catalano begins a process of leaving her current dead-beat boyfriend and terrible job as well as moving back home to temporarily live with her parents. On another spectrum Matt Sky has it all, a writing company and a loving girlfriend. When Hannah and Matt meet online for strictly writing purposes, there are strict rules. Unknowingly Hannah breaks a rule, the walls between them fall apart. As time grows, so do their relationship. Things get hot and steamy here. Until drama happens and Matt loses his mind after heavy drinking and isolation in which he puts himself in. At the end, they get together.

After had reading the 50 Shades series, I wanted to read a steamier romance without the BDSM. This book satisfied that want and or need for that type of reading. Incredibly written and way better than the 50 Shades series.

Pierce, M. Night Owl. St, Martins Griffin, 2014.

Dystopian Romance

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Identity, science fiction, romance, dystopian, classes, young adult, fiction

Rating 10/10

In this dystopian novel, there are five factions; Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. On the day that Beatrix or Tris for short turns the right age to choose her new faction, she decides to go with her fate with the Dauntless. However, she is harboring a dark secret of the testing that happened just the day before that she had the results of a different kind, a dangerous kind that if anyone found out she would be dead, Divergent. So in order to survive, she must hide the fact that she is Divergent. Meanwhile after joining Dauntless, this dark and tall stranger has his eyes set on Tris. This stranger, named Four, opens to Tris. As their romance blossoms, dark things are happening with the Dauntless. The ruthless leaders of Erudite and Dauntless wants to control the dauntless to hurt the rest of the factions. Sadly, the leader doesn’t get away with it. Tris and Four plus some now “rogue” dauntless members are in the run.

As I recall this was a book I had read in high school, with my best friend’s recommendation. I simply had enjoyed the book and would reread it again over and over again.

Roth, Veronica. Divergent. Katherine Tegen Books, 2012.

This Book Is Controversial?

Gone with The Wind – Margret Mitchell

Historical fiction, civil war, romance, action, adventure

Rating 10/10

In this historical fiction tale, “Gone with The Wind” by Margret Mitchell, tells a wind blowing story of how the old south was forever changed in the Civil War. Instead of hearing from the victor’s side, this novel tells a story of how a lifestyle was forever changed through eyes of southerners or as they call themselves, the Confederates. A large focus on the main protagonist, Scarlett O’Hara, goes through trials and tribulations. How to survive and thrive in a fast-changing world. Scarlett does what ever it takes to survive in this environment. Even as far as marrying a man who she does not love to stay rich. After having two husbands die, became a widow twice, her third husband walks out on her. She developed feelings for him and regrets not seeing how she truly loves him. This book left off as a cliff hanger, but the main purpose of this work is telling the other side of the story. Also, on that note this book is controversial for its themes and everyone is entitled to view this book in different opinions and viewpoints.

I had seen the movie during high school, and I thank my history teacher for showing us this movie. I sought out to read the novel. I loved the novel in a weird way. Hearing from the other side is good, not that I am saying what the south did was good, but it is vital to hear both sides of the stories rather than the victor’s side. Scarlett O’Hara is my favorite character and her determined personality is admirable.

Mitchell, Margaret. Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind. Avon Books, 1986.

Creepy YA Novel

Twilight – Stephanie Mayer

Young adult, fiction, romance, mythology, vampires, werewolves, teenagers, drama

Rating 2/10

This infamous book, “Twilight” by Stephanie Mayer, is about a teenager falling for a vampire. Bella Swan meets Edward Cullen at a high school and he is, at first, not intrigued by her. After an incident of a near death experience, Bella seeks out Edward to see what he is. Even when he reveals what he is, a vampire, she isn’t afraid of him. Family friend of her dad’s and childhood best friend both warn her about the Cullens but fail to take that advice. He introduces her to his family and they like her to a certain extent. Then, another coven of vampires’ trespass on the Cullen’s land one of them caught scent of Bella who is human and thus begins to hunt her down. It takes the entire Cullen coven to protect Bella. Bella gets nearly turned or killed by a vampire and she is rescued by Edward once again.

I never truly understood the whole hype of the Twilight series when it first came out. I only had read this because I was intrigued by mythological creatures such as werewolves and vampires. I didn’t like Mayer’s depiction of vampires because it goes against the lore. However, I had been a sucker for the series and read all of them in one swift binge reading fest. I was sort of hoping she would’ve fallen for her childhood best friend because he seemed normal. What creeped me out is that an older vampire, who is one hundred and seven-year-old, was in love with a seventeen-year-old. Talk about pedophilia. I had seen the movies and the movies could’ve been better if someone else played Bella Swan. Not sorry Kristen Stewart. Sadly I do not do movie reviews as I am not big on movies.

Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. Little, Brown and Co., 2007.

Twilight Was Better Than This..

50 Shades of Grey – E.L. James

Adult situations, romance, bdsm, drama, fiction, fantasy

Rating 1/10

“50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James, it is about a rich man, Christian Grey, who has a dark side to him that prevents him from loving a woman the right and proper way due to his upbringing. Ana Steele is a woman who went for her best friend to interview this rich man and she is instantly captivated by Mr. Grey. Later on, they cross paths and eventually date. Not actually date but discus his dark pleasures. Ana is curious about said dark pleasures and he takes her to his room where his dark pleasures happen. His dark pleasures is bondage sexual activities. She signs to be his mistress and apart of his world. After regretting one taste of his darkness she runs away from him and he wants to reconcile. He goes groveling to her.

I have to say I hate this book because of the themes and ideas. Originally, I was curious as to what was the whole hype. I deeply regret ever reading this book. Terrible written porn and unless one is a bored house wife, one would find this thrilling. Never will reread this book. Not sorry.

James, E. L. Fifty Shades of Grey. Vintage Books, 2012.

Virtual Reality Future Predictions?

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Young adult, science fiction, future, technology, nostalgic, gaming, virtual reality, romance, drama, action

10/10

In “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline, it is a tale of the future where all happens in a virtual world called OASIS. Wade Watts is a teenager on a mission to decipher these riddles that was proposed by the father of OASIS, James Halliday, who died and, in his wake, had left a competition to get ownership of the OASIS. Seems easy just decipher the riddles and collect the three keys. Wrong. They are hidden across the OASIS. In order to understand where Halliday hid the keys, Wade had studied James Halliday’s autobiography and history as well to possibly find the three keys. Wade isn’t the only one trying to find the keys. Everyone wants to own the OASIS. Even a money hungry corporation that threatens OASIS. With the help of his friends Aech, Shoto, Daito, and Art3mis, they successfully find all three keys.

I have to say this book is incredible and well written as well as well thought into. Very detailed and strong story line that keeps one on their toes. A real page turner at that. I continuously reread this book. Really loved how they explained in detail how society became after OASIS was integrated into daily life. Also with that thought, it gave an insight of how technology can become consuming. Even in the now, as I go out and about, I see people always on their phone. That is getting off topic but relates to the book’s theme.

I had went and seen the movie. I was gravely disappointed that they didn’t fully follow the story line of the book. However, movies tend to be that way especially if they were books at first. Damn you Steven Spielberg… We were rooting for you..

Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One: a Novel. Crown Publishers, 2011