Recommended: sure For a sweet story with some actual mystery to it, for a fun integration of nerdy gamer things that you’ll be in on the joke for if you’re a gamer, for characters who support being their true authentic selves
First, math genius and gamer-nerd Samaya gets dumped by her boyfriend. Then he sabotages her job and hooks up with her frenemy. What could be worse? Clearly, her golden-boy ex is winning the breakup. The only way Samaya can get some rebound cred is to find someone new. Even if she has to fake it.
At a volunteer bake sale, Samaya meets a sweet opportunity. Daniel is a handsome hockey jock and a whiz when it comes to lemon squares and brownies. And he agrees to play along. Quid pro quo. He’ll pretend to be the boyfriend of her dreams if Samaya helps him pass calculus.
This may well be the recipe for the best revenge, but Samaya has no idea how complicated it will get. As they whip up an imitation romance, and a bumbleberry pie, resisting each other’s very real charms proves impossible. Samaya finds herself on an unexpected journey of secrets, self-discovery, and the true meaning of moving on.
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 Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q Sutanto! Expected Release: March 14, 2023
Why wait on this one?
Y’all, I like reading about old people. And I don’t mean that like “50s” or, god forbid, “30s” as being old. I mean actually elderly. Like septuagenarian and beyond. 75+ ideally! I love glimpses into life at a point I hope to reach someday, and also the wealth of experiences that older people have. Throw that in a novel and it’s ready to go!
Okay also.. I kind of relate to older people now, as compared to The Youth. I’m not even thirty yet, but goddamn if I have a clue what the trends and slang are right now. I definitely am at a point where I have to be googling words because I don’t know what they mean from the latest social media platform or trend. (I think it’s currently still TikTok?)
It sounds sassy AF y’all. I love that she’s using her observational superpowers to try and take someone down, and I suspect there will be a strong sense of community being formed (a la found family) that I love so much. Take me away!!!
Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady–ah, lady of a certain age–who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.
Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing–a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn’t know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of . . . swipes the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would do a better job than the police possibly could, because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands. Vera knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer.
What Vera does not expect is to form friendships with her customers and start to care for each and every one of them. As a protective mother hen, will she end up having to give one of her newfound chicks to the police?
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 Chloe and the Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto! Expected Release: March 7, 2023
Why wait on this one?
The premise of Chloe being set up on arranged dates by her parents kind of reminds me of the book 10 Blind Dates which wasn’t anything that blew me away, but it was really sweet and fun and if this is similar at all I’ll probably also enjoy this one. And lighthearted fun is often a thing I want. ^.^
And add in the idea of Chloe actually liking one of the guys? OOOH ROMANCE YES PLEASE! Plus now there’s the subtle mystery of which of those fellas on the cover is the one that actually holds her attention??
But of course, there has to be some tension. And in this case — can an arranged date really last if you’re both leaving at the end of the summer for your planned futures (ie college probably)? Is it worth it? Or is it just a fling?
Chloe is officially off the waitlist at USC, and thus one step closer to realizing her dream of becoming an animator in the United States. But before she leaves home, her auntie insists on planning a traditional debut for Chloe’s eighteenth birthday (think sweet sixteen meets debutante ball). To make matters worse, her father, intent on finding Chloe the perfect escort for the party, keeps setting her up on one awkward kaishao—or arranged date—after another. But . . . why does her dad suddenly care so much about her love life? And what happens when she actually starts to fall for one of the guys, only to have to leave at the end of the summer?
In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. She has garnered the reputation as being the next great Shield for battling djinn, ghouls, and other monsters spreading across the sands.
Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation’s coveted spice–a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Despite her brother’s betrayal, there isn’t a day that goes by when Imani doesn’t grieve him.
But when Imani discovers signs that her brother may be alive and spreading the nation’s magic to outsiders, she makes a deal with the Council that she will find him and bring him back to Qalia, where he will face punishment. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission.
Recommended: sure For a low-key sad love story, for teen caretaker stories, for grief and trauma and pain
Penny and Tate have always clashed. Unfortunately, their mothers are lifelong best friends, so the girls’ bickering has carried them through playdates, tragedy, and more than one rom-com marathon with the Moms. When Penny’s mother decides to become a living donor to Tate’s mom, ending her wait for a liver transplant, things go from clashing to cataclysmic. Because in order to help their families recover physically, emotionally, and financially, the Moms combine their households the summer before senior year.
So Penny and Tate make a pact: They’ll play nice. Be the drama-free daughters their mothers need through this scary and hopeful time. There’s only one little hitch in their plan: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.
It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.
They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other. And some things—like their kisses—can’t be almosts forever.
Hey y’all! IT HAS BEEN A WHILE. I fell off doing Fast Forward Friday titles last summer-ish when there was a span of time where there genuinely weren’t many new releases I was looking forward to. Those that I was looking forward to were usually ones I had already received ARCs of and didn’t think it made sense to put it as a FFF feature. Anyway, I’ve got lots of books I’m excited for once again so I wanted to start this series back up1 😊
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 Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey! Expected Release: January 17, 2023
Why wait on this one?
The title and cover made me think this would be a bit of a funny read, and the blurb only backed that up. Situational humor of “a surprisingly young divorcee” will provide plenty of fodder for laughs, I’m sure! Even if they are a bit of the pained or awkward variety. I think this book will have a character who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Oh come on, I’m a fan of basically any book with a plot that is essentially a woman redefining or reclaiming her life in a way that suits her goals and happiness. So for Maggie to be plowing on through it all to get things done? I can’t wait to cheer her on!
And of course, I do think this will have a lot of emotional and tender moments besides the humor. Because those life-redefining journeys aren’t usually easy, and require some (tough) introspection. As Maggie considers what she wants and needs, I’ll reflect as well!
Maggie is fine. She’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s broke, her graduate thesis on something obscure is going nowhere, and her marriage only lasted 608 days, but at the ripe old age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new life as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.
Now she has time to take up nine hobbies, eat hamburgers at 4 am, and “get back out there” sex-wise. With the support of her tough-loving academic advisor, Merris; her newly divorced friend, Amy; and her group chat (naturally), Maggie barrels through her first year of single life, intermittently dating, occasionally waking up on the floor and asking herself tough questions along the way.
Recommended: sure for a sweet story of figuring out what’s right for you, for healthy and balanced looks at teen / first-time sexuality, for really lovely friendships that are important as well
Cameron Carson has a secret. A secret with the power to break apart his friend group.
Cameron Carson, member of the Geeks and Nerds United (GANU) club, has been secretly hooking up with student council president, cheerleader, theater enthusiast, and all-around queen bee Karla Ortega since the summer. The one problem—what was meant to be a summer fling between coffee shop coworkers has now evolved into a clandestine senior-year entanglement, where Karla isn’t intending on blending their friend groups anytime soon, or at all.
Enter Mackenzie Briggs, who isn’t afraid to be herself or wear her heart on her sleeve. When Cameron finds himself unexpectedly bonding with Mackenzie and repeatedly snubbed in public by Karla, he starts to wonder who he can truly consider a friend and who might have the potential to become more….
Recommended: sure for a cute reality-show-esque love story, for vengeance satisfactory, for characters who make bad choices often but you can love them anyway
WARNING: you probably will have the T. Swift song stuck in your head every time you pick up this book. Recommend reading in one sitting to minimize earworms. 😅
It’s been two years since Maya’s ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.
Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.
When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya h
Recommended: yup! For a feel-good story set during the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, for a look at what it was like for folks in Wuhan where it originated, for absolutely delicious food (complete with recipes!!)
Weaving in the tastes and sounds of the historic city, Wuhan’s comforting and distinctive cuisine comes to life as the reader follows 13-year-old Mei who, through her love for cooking, makes a difference in her community. Written by an award-winning author originally from Wuhan.
Grieving the death of her mother and an outcast at school, thirteen-year-old Mei finds solace in cooking and computer games. When her friend’s grandmother falls ill, Mei seeks out her father, a doctor, for help, and discovers the hospital is overcrowded. As the virus spreads, Mei finds herself alone in a locked-down city trying to find a way to help.
Author Ying Chang Compestine draws on her own experiences growing up in Wuhan to illustrate that the darkest times can bring out the best in people, friendship can give one courage in frightening times, and most importantly, young people can make an impact on ton the world. Readers can follow Mei’s tantalizing recipes and cook them at home.
A man walks into a bar. It’s a low one, so he gets a promotion within his first six months on the job.
Four comedy writers transform classic joke setups into sharp commentary about the everyday and structural sexism that pervades all facets of life. Jokes to Offend Men arms readers with humorous quips to shut down workplace underminers, condescending uncles, and dismissive doctors, or to share with their exhausted friends at the end of a long day. A cutting, cathartic spin on the old-fashioned joke book, Jokes to Offend Men is a refreshing reclamation of a tired form for anyone who’s ever been told to “lighten up, it’s just a joke!”