Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: 30 Things I Love About Myself, 1/4/22!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! This is the last Friday for 2021, and conveniently it’s also the very last day of 2021! Even though I have to wait until next year for this book, it’s really not so bad. 😉 Today’s is 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani!
Expected Release: January 4, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • Alright, when the blurb and the book start out with a character ending up in jail the night of their 30th birthday, I’m expecting a character with some attitude. Assuming this isn’t like stabbing and is more of a party-hard-disorderly arrest, I can support this start. Feisty, independent woman? Check.
  • Reinventing yourself is one of my favorite themes! Especially when people are worried they’re too old, too involved, or too unsure to start over. I say POO POO to that! Never live a life unsatisfying when you can do something to change it! Get at it, girl! I also love that this might not have a romance angle, and (hopefully) will truly be a story focused on self-love instead of definition b others.
  • Plus we’ve got a bit of the cultural impact of Nina’s Indian family. I always love reading about people with different families and traditions from my own, because even small things like the food mentioned briefly in the book might be a tasty new idea I’ve never known about!

Summary

Nina didn’t plan to spend her thirtieth birthday in jail, yet here she is in her pajamas, locked in a holding cell. There’s no Wi-Fi, no wine, no carbs–and no one to celebrate with.

Unfortunately, it gives Nina plenty of time to reflect on how screwed up her life is. She’s just broken up with her fiancé, and now has to move back into her childhood home to live with her depressed older brother and their uptight, traditional Indian mother. Her career as a freelance journalist isn’t going in the direction she wants, and all her friends are too busy being successful to hang out with her.

Just as Nina falls into despair, a book lands in her cell: How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself. It must be destiny. With literally nothing left to lose, Nina makes a life-changing decision to embark on a self-love journey. By her next birthday, she’s going to find thirty things she loves about herself.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: How Not to Fall in Love, 12/21/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is How Not To Fall in Love by Jacqueline Firkins!
Expected Release: December 21, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • This is SO FULL OF TROPES. Just ready yourself for this list. First up is the ol’ opposites attract with this pairing of the love cynic and the one who perpetually is meeting “The One.” Our sunshine and grump duo is ready to go!
  • Fake dating, boy does that ever delight me! It makes me feel like a fairy godmother meddling as I make every situation romantic and surprising and lovely, and watch the little sparkle in their eyes as they realize what they thought they’d never realize.
  • And to top if off, friends to more than here. I love a solid relationship built on an existing like of each other. The history adds such a weight to it, but a comfortable one, like those weighted blankets.

Summary

Harper works in her mom’s wedding shop, altering dresses for petulant and picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. After years of watching squabbles break out over wedding plans, Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily ever afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rom-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously.
 
When Theo’s shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She’s also checking out her window to see if Theo’s home from his latest date yet. She’s even watching rom-coms. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: An Accidental Odyssey, 12/14/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is An Accidental Odyssey by K.C. Dyer!
Expected Release: December 14, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • As ALWAYS, a book that takes me places will be on my list. This one is an actual journey around the Mediterranean. While I don’t love boats or sailing, my first trip abroad was to Italy and Greece, so I’m really excited to see them again in this story. 🥰
  • This sounds like it will have a dual trope punch o unexpected love and a fresh start. Someone realizing they deserve better than what they have — whether in a relationship, a career, a dream, anything — and then taking the risk to try and go after that something better? Those make me feel so lovely. Bravery inspires me and helps me reflect on my own actions and happiness, and sometimes helps spur me to make changes of my own.
  • How much of this will parody Homer’s Odyssey? I don’t know, and I’m not even sure I’d recognize the moments if they happen. But I still hope they happen, just in case I do recognize them. I love having old or classic stories imagined in a new context, or as a callback to a current story.

Summary

Gianna Kostas is on the cusp of a fairy-tale life. Sure, she’s just lost her job, but she’s about to marry one of New York’s most eligible bachelors. On her way to taste wedding cakes, though, things go sideways. Shocking news sends Gia off on a wild journey halfway around the world in pursuit of her ailing–and nearly estranged–father.

In Athens, she learns Dr. Kostas, a classics professor, is determined to retrace Odysseus’s famous voyage. This is a journey her father is in no condition to take alone, so Gia faces a tough decision. When an unexpected job offer helps seal the deal and quash the guilt Gia feels from her disapproving groom-to-be, the journey is on. But as Gia adventures–and eats–her way around the Mediterranean, she discovers that confronting epic storms and ripped surfer dudes might be the easy part.

Along the way, as she uncovers family secrets, finds heartbreak, and learns more about a certain archaeologist with a mysterious past of his own, Gia discovers that fairy-tale endings might be messy and complicated, but they can happen anywhere.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Dava Shastri’s Last Day (11/30)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti.
Expected Release: November 30, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Secrets and drama are like tiny mysteries to me. So of course I want to know what exactly Dava Shastri has done in her life to have come back to haunt her, especially as she was quite a generous and encouraging person by (most) accounts!
  • I expect this to be at least a little bit funny. How could it not be, when the whole premise is that this super rich, super philanthropic woman is faking her death ahead of her prognosis in order to bask in what the world has to say about her? Now add the twist that what they have to say is…. not exactly what she had hoped… and I think that will lead to point #3
  • In a situation like this, it’s inevitable that there will be a ton of character growth. Sure, Dava might be seventy, and sure, she might be dying of brain cancer. But she can still learn and grow, dammit!

Summary

Dava Shastri, one of the world’s wealthiest women, has always lived with her sterling reputation in mind. A brain cancer diagnosis at the age of seventy, however, changes everything, as she decides to take her death—like all matters of her life—into her own hands.

Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: in addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries.

As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her “death” reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever.

And now the whole world knows, including her children.

In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment—and make peace with those closest to her before it’s too late.
 
Compassionately written and chock-full of humor and heart, this powerful novel examines public versus private legacy, the complexities of love, and the never-ending joys—and frustrations—of family.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: King of Battle & Blood (11/30)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is King of Battle & Blood by Scarlett St. Clair!
Expected Release: November 30, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • A loose retelling of Tristan and Isolde! Growing up I saw the movie and was astonished that it didn’t get nearly as much hype as the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet. I’m delighted to see that someone is now appreciating it, and in a way I think I’m going to adore.
  • And then they go and throw in some good old fashioned necromancy. I’m a softie, but damn if I don’t love me some necromancy. Also he’s a vampire, and also there’s some court hierarchy going on. This basically every fantasy trope I like.
  • It also sounds like its hinting at a theme where the MC discovers their secret destiny, fate, role in a prophecy, etc. Basically, some kind of power that they can suddenly wield to fuck shit up.

Summary

Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king, Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him. ⠀

But her assassination attempt is thwarted and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court. ⠀

Except it isn’t the court she fears most—it’s Adrian. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king——fierce, savage, merciless—chose her as consort. ⠀

The answer will shatter her world.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Blue-Skinned Gods, 11/2/21!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Blue-Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu!
Expected Release: November 2, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • A boy is born with blue skin, and subsequently thought to be the newest reincarnation of the god Vishnu. Talk about pressure, amirite? That premise alone is basically enough to pull my attention to this because of how rife with possibility it is even at it’s bare-bones overview.
  • I know a bit about Indian culture, Vishnu, and reincarnation — but of course I’m always delighted to learn more. I usually shy away from any book that has a religion angle because it tends not to interest me. The framing of this one, however, has me ready to dive into deep questions and discuss heavy topics with people before I’ve even read a single page.
  • Robust would be the word I’d use to define my expectations of this. From the blurb alone, I expect: religion, belief, identity crises, immigration, temptation, sinning, culture clash, family conflict, philosophy, doubt… Frankly, I can’t imagine how so much could be in one book. And yet, I get the sense that it will be done so well. I am very excited.
  • Plus… okay… the cover is gorgeous. That is absolutely what got my attention the first time as I was scrolling through ARCs months and months ago. Big kudos to the cover artist. (The alt cover isn’t bad either.)

Summary

In Tamil Nadu, India, a boy is born with blue skin. His father sets up an ashram, and the family makes a living off of the pilgrims who seek the child’s blessings and miracles, believing young Kalki to be the tenth human incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. In Kalki’s tenth year, he is confronted with three trials that will test his power and prove his divine status and, his father tells him, spread his fame worldwide. While he seems to pass them, Kalki begins to question his divinity.

Over the next decade, his family unravels, and every relationship he relied on—father, mother, aunt, uncle, cousin—starts falling apart. Traveling from India to the underground rock scene of New York City, Blue-Skinned Gods explores ethnic, gender, and sexual identities, and spans continents and faiths, in an expansive and heartfelt look at the need for belief in our globally interconnected world.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Fastest Way to Fall, 11/2/21!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams.
Expected Release: November 2, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Oh man, maybe it’s just because I’m deep into my first read of Lore Olympus, but the idea of the forbidden love is making me swoon! Mostly because it’s only lightly forbidden, since Britta is technically Wes’s client and he probably shouldn’t bang her (bad PR). Plus, Britta is technically doing a review of this guy and his company… so she probably shouldn’t seemed biased toward him (aka by banging him).
  • Weirdly, I’m pretty into the fitness angle here too. Since Wes is Britta’s personal coach and she’s into body positivity, I’m feeling some connection to my recent attempted foray into healthier living. (Note the word attempted…) So maybe reading about two people who really love being healthy (plus each other) can reinvigorate me to move a little more myself!
  • Although I never actually ended up reading it, How to Fail at Flirting was a book I wanted to read (and still do!). So if Denise Williams also wrote that one, then it’s no surprise I’m interested in this other title by her! Plus I just saw How to Fail at Flirting is available at the library, so maybe I’ll grab a copy and use that to whet my appetite for now. 😊

Summary

Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.

As CEO of the FitMe app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves—coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.

As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.

Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Color of Dragons, 10/19

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is
Expected Release: October 19, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Reason number one: did you look at the cover?
  • Reason number two: anything with dragons.
  • Reason number three: an unlikely duo, bound by fate.
  • Okay, seriously, I’m exhausted after a day of travel but really want to get this book some love today! The summary is honestly pretty vague, so I don’t even have much to go off of with my interest. And yet, I still have interest. Magic powers that need to learn to be controlled (and I’m sure they will end up being some kind of incredibly powerful or rare). Two people from opposite lifestyles being forced to work together — and they might actually be secretly working towards competing outcomes, I’m not really sure? And of course, dragons.

Summary

Magic needs a spark.

And Maggie’s powers are especially fickle. With no one to help her learn to control her magic, the life debt that she owes stretches eternally over her head, with no way to repay it.

Until she meets Griffin, the king’s champion infamous for hunting down the draignochs that plague their kingdom.

Neither has any idea of the destiny that they both carry, or that their meeting will set off a chain of events that will alter every aspect of the life they know—and all of history thereafter.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: No Words (9/28)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is No Words by Meg Cabot.
Expected Release: September 28, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Alright, a lot of what drew me in (besides the cover) is MEG CABOT!! That is a name from my childhood and teen years and twenties and still. It’s just such a comfortable thought, to read a Meg Cabot book. It’ll be something familiar, that I can trust to entertain me, without much possibility of breaking my heart.
  • It also doesn’t hurt that this sounds very much like Beach Read by Emily Henry, which was fab. Authors, and a book about books, and a warm sunny beachy destination, and two people with a past. Wait, which book am I describing again?
  • But seriously, lovers with a history. I adore that! I love getting to know their tidbits of how they knew each other, and watching it get fit into who they see now, and the decision of whether or not they want to learn more in the future. I don’t even know if they’ll end up being lovers! But it’s Meg Cabot. So I keep the faith. ^.^

Summary

Jo Wright always swore she’d never step foot on Little Bridge Island—not as long as her nemesis, bestselling author Will Price, is living there.

Then Jo’s given an offer she can’t refuse: an all-expense-paid trip to speak and sign at the island’s first-ever book festival.

Even though arrogant Will is the last person Jo wants to see, she could really use the festival’s more-than-generous speaking fee. She’s suffering from a crippling case of writer’s block on the next installment of her bestselling children’s series, and her father needs financial help as well.

Then Jo hears that Will is off-island on the set of the film of his next book. Hallelujah!

But when she arrives on Little Bridge, Jo is in for a shock: Will is not only at the book festival, but seems genuinely sorry for his past actions—and more than willing not only to make amends but prove to Jo that he’s a changed man.

Things seem to be looking up—until disaster strikes, causing Jo to wonder: Do any of us ever really know anyone?

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Last Chance Library, 8/31/21!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson.
Expected Release: August 31, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • A book about libraries or librarians is catnip for a certain kind of reader: the kind who is me. And many other female contemporary-lit readers. (And probably many others because libraries are dope!) So honestly, even from the name I was giving this one a smile.
  • Classic plot of saving the piece of the town that’s historical and locally loved and maybe a little shabby but in a cozy way.
  • Plus enter an old flame? All the chances for redemption and starting over (yet with a delicious shared history) are June’s to embrace!
  • AND IT’S SET IN ENGLAND. A “sleepy English village” is practically required to host this story.
  • Honestly everything about this sounds not particularly unique or original, but like a new reiteration of a classic tale that I can’t wait to read despite knowing what happens at the end. It’s the journey and the comfort of a happily ever after type ending (I assume!! not a spoiler!!).

Summary

Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.

Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer’s feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won’t believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.

To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she’s determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.