Blog Tour | The Little Bookshop on the Seine

Blog Tour | “It was time to stop hiding, and start participating in real life.” – The Little Bookshop on the Seine

**Many thanks to HQN Book and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Author: Rebecca Raisin

(3.64 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Romance

Format: Kindle

Publication Date: January 7, 2020, by HQN Books

Pages: 232 (EBook version)

#TheLittleBookshopontheSeine #RebeccaRaisin #LittleBookshop #HQNBooks


I’d left my home, my routine, and I was here where ancient beauty was abundant. I’d made the right choice, I could feel it in my bones.

Fictional characters make it seem so easy to pull off some pretty amazing feats – take switching lives for example. We’ve seen it 100 times – either through some kind of freaky magic, a rogue lightning strike, or just a spontaneous decision, switching lives always leads to some big adventures. I’ve never tried it – maybe because there isn’t anyone I’ve met so far that I would want to trade lives with, even for a few weeks. Not that my life is so interesting, my switcher would probably be bored out of their minds!

But Sarah Smith (gosh, even her name sounds like she needs some excitement, right?) needs a change. She needs to shuffle some things up, find a spark, and get recharged. And overworked, spurned-in-love Sophie in Paris offers Sarah just the opportunity she is looking for. Let’s check out the blurb…

When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer — after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime — days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.
But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light — she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop — and her life — back in order… and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.


In small-town Connecticut, there wasn’t a lot to do. And life here – calm, peaceful – was fine, but that’s just it, fine wan’t enough anymore.

OK, so we have one woman who is seeking adventure and change from her mundane everyday, and then we have another woman who is looking for an escape from a bad relationship and a way to relax from her hectic lifestyle. Come on… you know this story, right? The Holiday! My favorite Kate Winslet movie (and really, the only one I’ll watch with Cameron Diaz in it). Amanda and Iris (Cameron and Kate) switch houses/lives in LA and Surrey in an effort to “reset” themselves, their careers, and their love lives.

This Little Bookshop novel has the same premise – two women needing a hard reset to get their lives on track. Attractive premise, promising plot, I just wish I could say that I enjoyed this reading experience more. But let’s talk about the things I do like first…

…to me, books were alive, the words throbbed and pulsed, as important as a heartbeat,…

Raisin’s descriptions of Paris – its food and sights – actually made me want to go there, and I consider myself quite the anti-Francophile. There are beautifully crafted paragraphs about mouth-watering Parisian delicacies and equally enticing descriptions of Paris’ Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe that immediately thrust you into a magically, romantic world.

Plus, in every romantic novel, you need at least the promise of romance. Even though Sarah and Ridge are separated for most of the book, their romance shines through his absence – and this dude is really romantic.

I would find the heart of Paris, I would do all those things lovers did, and to hell with it if I was alone.

So, why only three stars? Why didn’t this book really resonate with me? There’s an easy answer: One thing that turns me off from a book and its story is if the protagonist is wishy-washy, and Sarah definitely is that kind of character. She keeps hearing what she needs to hear and know in order to feel confident in her man and her relationship, but she refuses all of that advice and chooses to feel abandoned and slighted instead. So, yes, an annoyingly needy main character can throw me out of the book because I feel I can’t relate to her motivation and choices.

Also, there were several places where the writing and action seemed too repetitive. Sarah was in Paris for months, and readers learn about her weeks of trouble and solitude in detail; however, when anything truly interesting happens, those events are glossed over and summarized down into one paragraph. Tell us about the late night art gallery visit! Tell us about the one night spent with the boyfriend you’ve been longing to see for months! That’s the stuff we want to know about. Honestly!

Even though this book didn’t quite hit its mark with me, there were many points where I could appreciate that it is written by a lover of books and by someone who really appreciates the written word. And for that, I would recommend it to those who love reading book about books, those who are instantly attracted to handsome little bookshops on historic corners, and to those for whom Paris is a dream. This book will whet your appetite for more than a cheap romance, you will want the adventure!


The Little Bookshop on the Seine is available now at any of the following booksellers:


Rebecca Raisin

Rebecca Raisin is the author of several novels, including the beloved Little Paris seris and the Gingerbread Cafe trilogy, and her short stories have been published in various anthologies and fiction magazines. You can follow Rebecca on Facebook, and at http://www.rebeccaraisin.com


Blog Tour | Husband Material

Blog Tour | “Sometimes life has other plans. Or, as I’ve come to witness, no real plans at all.” – Husband Material by Emily Belden

**Many thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin Books/Graydon House, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Author: Emily Belden

(3.46 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy

Format: Kindle

Publication Date: December 30, 2019, by Graydon House / Harlequin

Pages: 304 (Kindle version)

#HusbandMaterial #EmilyBelden #GraydonHouse


Life is a little scary when you have to sit one-on-one with it for any length of time.

Being a gown-up kinda sux. There are all kinds of things to worry about and be responsible for: bills, your job, and <gasp> taxes! Who thought all this up anyway? We could all just be lounging around somewhere fanning with leaves by a waterfall without a care in the world past which berry to pop into our mouths next. Adulting, bah humbug!

And I’m sure Charlotte Rosen, Husband Material‘s main character, feels at least a little of that same sentiment when her deceased husband’s ashes become her responsibility… again. Let’s check out the blurb:

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.
Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.
But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.


I’m officially in my last good year of dating… and I’m determined not to wind up with my dog.

OK, so granted, adulting isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but most of us don’t have to deal with an urn that needs re-homing and an overbearing ex-mother-in-law hounding us. Phew! But being a fly-on-the-wall as Charlotte navigates this extreme bump in her road turns out to be quite the adventure.

There are several prevalent themes in Husband Material: getting over the ex, becoming a legit professional in a cut-throat industry, and navigating the tricky lanes of dating after a major relationship ends. While this book is whimsical and doesn’t present itself as a serious tome, it does make you consider some serious subjects before thrusting you back into the humor of it all.

He wouldn’t do something to hurt me. He would, however, choose to protect me at all costs. Are those the same things?

All-in-all, Belden’s book is about starting over; beginning again when things didn’t quite go the way you expected the first time. Charlotte, in her own quirky way, is a poster child for pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and marching on into a new normal. And that’s a theme that I can certainly get behind.

Little things annoyed me about this book, like Charlotte’s manic retreat into algorithms whenever the proverbial poop hit the fan, for instance. But that was more a personal irritation than a fault with the story. Husband Material is a quirky, quick read that tackles some real adult issues with humor and a whole lotta number-crunching!


Buy Husband Material today at any of the following retailers:
Harlequin
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Indie Bound
Kobo
Google Books


Emily Belden

Emily Belden is a journalist, social media marketer, and storyteller. She is the author of the novel Hot Mess and Eightysixed: A Memoir about Unforgettable Men, Mistakes, and Meals. She lives in Chicago. Visit her website at http://www.emilybelden.com or follow her on Twitter or Instagram @emilybelden.


To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

=> “When I write, I hold nothing back. I write like he’ll never read it. Because he never will.” –To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before<=


Author: Jenny Han

(4.16 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Romance / Young Adult

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: April 15, 2014, Simon & Schuster / BFYR

Pages: 355

#ToAllTheBoysIveLovedBefore #ToAllTheBoys


…it’s a lot of responsibility to hold a person’s heart in your hands.

When I was in school, people still wrote letters to each other (I know, I know…the Dark Ages). We would pass notes under our desks and would hand off coded sheets full of gossip to each other in the hallways. But the best letters of all, of course, were the love letters. Granted, in high school they were a little more advanced than “Do you like me, check yes or no.”

I had one boyfriend in college that kept a regular written correspondence with me after I graduated and he had one more year to go. Those were some of the most meaningful letters I ever got – and I have them still today (Yep, I held on to them even through my marriage to a totally different man! Shhhhh….!)

Love letters are magical because they are so revealing, so honest, and so open. You have to really know how you’re feeling to write a good one, and the commitment of putting it all down on paper takes bravery. In To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean Covey opens her heart up to the loves of her life, but it was all supposed to be private…

Here’s the blurb: “Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved — five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the thing she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.”

My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for good-bye. Because after I write in my letter, I’m not longer consumed by my all-consuming love…My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.

So, Lara Jean is in high school and she’s got some real challenges going on, not the least of which is the fact that someone mailed all of her love letters to former loves of her life. If someone did that to me I would think that it might be time to relocate to a different country! But LJ takes it all in stride – just like any teenager would – SHE FREAKS THE HECK out!!!! Totally understandable.

Although I am, sadly, far from high school these days, I still feel like I can relate to this adorable, romantic story. I remember those days when I felt like my heart couldn’t contain everything I was feeling for a guy, and that writing it all down was the only way I could manage to get through my day without exploding. That’s what reading this book made me remember – the days of being totally dominated by overwhelming emotions and living in that heady feeling every day.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I want to be brave. I want… life to start happening. I want to fall in love and I want a boy to fall in love with me back.

Jenny Han has written a special little love story here; one that shines on paper and on the little screen (yes, I watched the Netflix movie too). And I know I talked a lot about the romantic aspects of this book, but it’s also about family, managing big life changes, and tackling school politics.

If you haven’t already read this book, and you decide to pick up To All the Boys, I hope you will see Lara Jean as I did – not a love struck teenager, but as a young lady who’s trying to figure out her life, just like all the rest of us. This is one I wouldn’t mind reading again for the nostalgia of the feelings of first love and the comfort of a well-written book that fits like a cozy sweater.


Jenny Han

Jenny Han is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Summer I Turned Pretty series. Her books have been published in more than thirty languages. A former librarian, Jenny earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Cottage By the Sea

=> My next book for Shelf-Discipline month! I’m clearing my bookshelves one book at a time, and this perfect romance fit nicely into my September reading list. <=


Author: Debbie Macomber

(3.97 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Romance / Women’s Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Publication Date: July 17, 2018, Ballantine Books

Pages: 352 (Hardcover)

#Cottagebythesea


Annie was certain her parents had sent her to Oceanside, knowing that this was the one place where her wounded heart would heal.

I guess since this is my blog, it’s OK to admit that romance isn’t exactly my go-to genre. It’s nothing personal, I just find myself eye-rolling too many times while reading about “love at first sight” and “happily ever after”. It’s not that I don’t believe in love, it’s just the cheesy stuff that makes me want to wretch. But occasionally, a little gem comes along with the ability to melt even my icy heart.

Here’s the blurb: “Annie Marlow has been through the worst. Rocked by tragedy, she heads to the one place that makes her happy: Oceanside in the Pacific Northwest, the destination of many family vacations when Annie was a teenager. Once there, Annie begins to restore her broken spirit, thanks in part to the folks she meets: a local painter, Keaton whose large frame is equal to his big heart – and who helps Annie fix up her rental cottage by the sea; Mellie, the reclusive, prickly landlord Annie is determined to befriend; and Britt, a teenager with a terrible secret. But it is Keaton to whom Annie feels most drawn. His quiet, peaceful nature offers her both comfort and reprieve from her grief, and the two begin to grow closer. Then events threaten to undo the idyll Annie has come to enjoy. And when the opportunity of a lifetime lands in her lap, she is torn between the excitement of a new journey toward success and the safe and secure arms of the haven – and the man – she’s come to call home.

This was where she wanted to live, where she hoped to recapture the memories of those carefree days of her youth, the happy times with her parents and brother.


What do you look for in a great romance? Credibility? Attractive couples? Hot sex scenes? (Come on, you know you were thinking it!) Most of the things I love about a good romance novel are right here in Cottage by the Sea, and it’s not a hot sex scene, believe it or not.

Macomber doesn’t give us a dark haired musclebound he-hulk with rippling abs and smoldering eyes. She also doesn’t give us a satin-haired sex goddess with the perfect wardrobe. Her characters are, instead, a little flawed and a lot lovable. Keaton is abnormally tall and unusually quiet. Annie has tragic baggage that is forcing her to start her life over again. These aren’t cookie-cutter characters; the perfect kind for a more credible romance.

And I love the idea of a love building over time through care, nurturing, and a mutual need for the other person. Macomber’s story delivers all the feels that romance fans clamor for. And if they are disappointed by the lack of steamy bedroom scenes, then maybe it’s not romance they’re actually looking for…


Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber is a leading voice in women’s fiction. Thirteen of her novels have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller lists. She has more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. –adapted from author bio


Things You Save in a Fire

⇒RELEASE DAY REVIEW! Sometimes the biggest life changes can turn out to be the very best.⇐

**Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Author: Katherine Center

(4.33 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Romance

Format: Kindle

Publication Date: August 13, 2019, by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 320 (Kindle version)

#ThingsYouSaveInAFire


It’s a strange thing to know about yourself, but there it is: I’m at my very best when things are at their very worst.

For many, it’s a guilty pleasure. For me, I feel no guilt. I love them and I’m not ashamed. I sit for hours and just enjoy them back to back to back. No, I’m not talking about Thin Mints – although those are utterly delicious and addictive. I’m talking about – drumroll please – … Hallmark movies.

Yes! Hallmark movies! They are romantic; sometimes sickeningly so, but I love them. I love the general idea of them. The heartfelt optimism of them. The knowledge that no matter what goes wrong in the beginning and the middle, in the end, two very attractive people will end up together. That is the feeling I got while reading Things You Save in a Fire. Here’s the blurb:

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated. The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Choosing to love—despite all the ways that people let you down, and disappear, and break your heart. Knowing everything we know about how hard life is and choosing to love, anyway.. That’s not weakness, that’s courage.

This book combines everything recognizable and lovable about Hallmark movies and puts it in book form. A sudden upheaval (usually involving a change of career and/or location), an ailing or deceased close relative, an awkward or taboo relationship, and a life-altering choice that must be made within a limited amount of time. Add those tried and true ingredients to a serious crisis that threatens all newly discovered happiness and you have the formula for a truly engaging love story / story of strength, redemption, and forgiveness.

Many may read this and imagine that I am being facetious. Trust that I am not. In this current climate of gloom, doom, and general negativity, the positivity and uplifting messages found in Katherine Center’s writing are like breaths of fresh air. I felt that way while reading How to Walk Away and even more so with this new release.

It’s amazing how brave you can be when you feel safe.

More things to like about this novel: It has a strong female lead. I mean genuinely strong. Like still cries when she’s emotional, but is strong emotionally and physically. Cassie is realistic with flaws and judgment, but she grows and she is teachable. I appreciated characters who don’t automatically have everything all figured out, but they put the work in the make their lives work.

Yeah, there’s a bit of insta-love here (usually that’s a big deal-breaker for me), but here it’s kind of expected (“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”) and necessary to kick the story into second gear. All-in-all, this was a cozy summer read that left me feeling all the feels and genuinely happy that I read it. And, yes, I will gladly pick up Katherine Center’s next release.


Katherine Center

Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her fun husband, two sweet kids, and fluffy-but-fierce dog.


Waiting for Tom Hanks

⇒”… true love sometimes involved a little bit of light stalking and a lot of encouragement from Rosie O’Donnell.”⇐


My fourth #Julybrary book this month is Waiting for Tom Hanks. So far, my library picks have been excellent – well, three out of four ain’t bad. I hope my Julybrary challenge inspires other readers to use their public libraries more often. Using mine has certainly saved me both money and bookshelf space!


Author: Kerry Winfrey

(3.55 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Romance / Humor

Published June 11, 2019by Berkley

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

#WaitingforTomHanks #Julybrary


My Tom Hanks is out there, and I’m not going to settle until I find him.

Before I got old(-ish) and cynical and jaded (yes, all of those), I was a hope-ful romantic. I just knew that fairy tales do come true and that relationships actually could have happily ever afters. Then I had my first boyfriend and realized that boys are jerks. I tell you, fourth grade is very traumatic.

But before that, believing in romance was fun. It was not unlike believing in Santa or the tooth fairy – there’s a certain magic to it. Waiting for Tom Hanks revives that magic in a perfectly-paced love story (set in snow) where the characters are totally sold-out on love.

Blurb: Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.


There’s a part of me that needs to see a world where everything works out for the best, where people are together forever, or where Tom Hanks can destroy someone’s business but they fall in love anyway.

Waiting… made me happy in so many ways. 1. It’s the perfect summer read for a quiet weekend or a lazy morning in the beach. 2. Its characters are instantly familiar and funny. 3. It’s a love story that isn’t set in New York (imagine that!) And 4. It’s both devoted to romance and charmingly irreverent of it all at the same time.

My current jaded nature makes me appreciate that last point the most. Author Kerry Winfrey has penned an entirely clichéd romance novel, made fun of it, doubled down on it, and then made me love it. It’s perfect. You know what you’re going to get, but the way Winfrey delivers it is so satisfying and fun. It almost made me forget my misanthropic tendencies. Almost.


Read the first chapter of Waiting for Tom Hanks.


Kerry Winfrey

Kerry Winfrey is the author of Love and Other Alien Experiences and Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It. She’s written for many websites, including HelloGiggles. She lives with her husband, baby, and dog in the middle of Ohio.


Blog Tour | The Catnapped Lover

⇒Blog Tour: A woman, a man, and a cat. What could possibly go wrong? ⇐


Author: Rue Allyn

(3.63 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle Edition

Publish Date: July 15, 2019 by Prowl Publishing

Pages: 172

#TheCatnappedLover #CatnappedLover

Many thanks to the author and Prowl Publishing for providing a free copy of this book for my review. I received no monetary compensation and my thoughts are my own.


Trouble always came wrapped in attractive packages.

Seems like my summer is full of romance – in my bookish life at least. I rarely read as much romance in a month as I have this month, and it’s definitely not a bad thing!

I’m so glad I got invited to participate in the blog tour for The Catnapped Lover by Rue Allyn. It was a delightful, quick, and quirky romance novel that is perfect for light summer reading whether you’re on vacation or, like me, stuck at my desk working instead of being on a sandy beach somewhere.

Here’s a quick summary for you: What does a bet between best friends have to do with a kidnapped cat and a tumbled-down animal shelter? Nothing, unless you are Adam Talcott and you want to prove to your best-buddy that you can survive without access to your wealth and family connections. Adam would have succeeded too, if it hadn’t been for Dierdre Clancy and that blasted cat.

A cynical young woman is looking for a new start. A wealthy businessman looking to win a lucrative bet. These ingredients make for a quick, cute romantic story with lots of misunderstandings and offbeat circumstances. And oh, there’s a big, pesky cat in the middle of everything (just in case you hadn’t gleaned that from the title).

I enjoyed reading The Catnapped Lover – and I could have enjoyed reading a bit more of it. Was the ending a bit rushed?- or maybe it was just me being greedy for a bit more romance!

Either way, if you want a nice, light, not-too-serious story to round out your summer reading, this is a perfect book to grab! Happy Romantic Reading!


Rue Allyn

Hi, I’m Rue Allyn, I write heart melting romance novel. books about character and adventures in which love triumphs at the darkest moment. The kind of hopeful, steal-your-breath romance that melts a reader’s heart. The type of book I like to read. Hope you will too.


Buy The Catnapped Lover here: books2read.com/u/ba2KBx


Save the Date

How good are you at finding the best little beach read? I found mine, but it turns out I could read this little gem anywhere!⇐


Author: Morgan Matson

(3.81 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Contemporary / YA / Romance

Published June 5, 2018by Simon Schuster

Format: Paperback

Pages: 432 (Paperback)

#SavetheDate


It seemed like the second you tried to tell someone why you loved someone else, it took the luster off it, like pinning a butterfly down in a case—it never quite captured it.

Every year my family goes to the beach. We look forward to it all year long and we often start packing long before the week of the trip. This year was no exception. The clothes, the swim gear, the travel-sized toiletries – all that is important, but the most vital thing is Which Books Should I Bring! 

This is a really hard decision on any regular day, let alone on a day when you will be spending time near surf and sand with nothing but lazy hours in front of you. This is prime reading time people! And the last thing you want to do is waste those hours with a book you don’t really enjoy.   

Thankfully, I made an excellent choice in this perfectly paced little romance that also shared some spicy little family drama and more than one (OK a lot!) of truly comedic slip-ups. Save the Date couldn’t have been a more perfect vacation read. It was an easy read with fun (and funny) characters that were easily introduced and remain unforgettable. Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect. … Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

You don’t get to freeze the picture when you want it. It would have been living in the past and eventually, you just start doing the same jokes over and over again.

If you’re anything like me, it may take you quite a long time to decide on a book to read while you’re on vacation. I made a special trip to the bookstore to pick this one up specifically for this trip. I wanted something light and funny with just enough depth to hold my attention without being frivolous and silly. Save the Date hit the nail on the head on every point.

And, no, it’s not a new release, so I felt that I could choose it on its own merits instead of feeling led along by the masses all grappling for the next new and shiny shelf bauble.  And although I didn’t finish my book while actually sitting on the beach (it ended up raining for most of the time) I found that it really didn’t matter. Save the Date became a book that is good on or off of the sand. I got totally sucked into the Grant family drama and my only regret is that it ended a little too quickly!


Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.


Crazy Rich Asians

⇒There’s rich, there’s filthy rich, and then there’s Crazy Rich.⇐


Author: Kevin Kwan

(3.83 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Romance

Format: Trade Paperback

Published June 11, 2013by Anchor Books

Pages: 527 (Paperback ), 403 (Hardcover)

#CrazyRichAsians


This is Singapore, and the idle rich spend all their time gossiping about other people’s money.

Nick, Crazy Rich Asians

In elementary school we used to make cootie catchers. You know, the folded paper fortune teller games that would most definitely determine your future. In less than 30 seconds, you and your best friends could find out which superstar you would marry, what ultra-chic luxury car you would drive, and how many bedrooms your multi-million dollar mansion would have. These flippy, folded pieces of paper carried our dreams of being rich, and – for most of us – they are the closest we’d ever come to all that extravagance.

Reading Crazy Rich Asians is what it would look like if someone’s insanely decadent cootie catcher choices actually manifested in real life.

In Crazy Rich Asians, Rachel Chu discovers that there is more to her boyfriend Nick Young than she has discovered in the year that they’ve been dating – a few billion dollars more, in fact. Here’s the cover summary: When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

You can’t really blame your parents. They were born that way – it’s just not in their DNA to associate with anyone who isn’t from their class, anyone who isn’t born rich or royal.

Michael Teo, Crazy Rich Asians

My most coveted cootie catcher choices always included a Ferrari Testarossa (red, of course), a three-story mansion with a pool and stables, and two kids with sexy singer El Debarge. I never considered that a future like that would be considered small potatoes to these crazy, filthy rich characters in Singapore. The decadence and absurdly irresponsible spending only increases with every chapter. It’s a label-dropper’s dream come true!

So, if you’re not a billionaire (sadly, I am not), not really into fashion or labels (not me either), and you have no plans to visit Singapore or marry one if its rich bachelors or bachelorettes, why should you read this book? Simply because it was a really good read. Kevin Kwan gives his characters the attention they deserve by dedicating chapters to each of them in order to tell a complete story. They are each romantic, hilarious, arrogant, ridiculous, and tragic – giving the book a layered and engaging narrative throughout. I laughed, I got frustrated, I envied, I laughed again (I mean really, Kitty Pong?!). These are the types of reading experiences I really look forward to each time I pick up a new book.

Mark’s not white, he’s Jewish- that’s basically Asian!

Sylvia Wong-Swartz, Crazy Rich Asians

It is instantly apparent why Crazy Rich Asians was turned into a movie. Kwan makes every scene so visual. There is glitz and glamour depicted with such detail and color, presented in a way that never feels tiresome or long-winded. I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing if that imagery matches the opulence of the world I built in my head.

Read this book for the romantic story of two young people falling in love and facing some hard truths. Read it for the vivid depictions of lavish lifestyles. Read it for the hilarious antics of the trashy soap opera-star fiancée and the neurotic clothes horse of a son for whom perfection is just out of reach.

I’ve had enough of being around all these crazy rich Asians, all these people whose lives revolve around making money, spending money, flaunting money, comparing money, hiding money, controlling others with money, and ruining their lives over money.

Rachel, Crazy Rich Asians

If I had a gripe about his book, it would be that reading it forces you into the next book and then the next. The ending isn’t the comforting conclusion where all loose ends are neatly tied. Instead, it’s a lurching race to get a few thing settled before the final page is turned. The questions left lingering demand a sequel. Good thing Kwan provided one in China Rich Girlfriend and a third in the series, Rich People Problems. While Nick and Rachel are romantic and cute, I want more of glamorous Astrid Leong’s story. I want to know how Eleanor Young is made to pay for her dirty deeds. And I want to know if Eddie Cheng ever gets the picture-perfect family he wants so badly. So, yes, I’m sucked into the crazy richness of the story and I want more Crazy in my life!

Kevin Kwan

Kevin Kwan was born and raised in Singapore. He currently lives in Manhattan. Crazy Rich Asians is his first novel. – Bio from book cover.