Author: Abbi Waxman
Published: July 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options:
- Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
- Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
- Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.
This book is fantastic! As soon as I read the description, I knew I had to read it. And the cover is gorgeous. From the very first page, I was completely engaged. I’ve said before that I very rarely ever “relate” to many characters. I enjoy them, I sympathize with them, I get very emotionally involved with them, but I usually don’t identify with them. Nina Hill is a big exception. I identified with her from the very beginning. To this day, I’m still the one in any group who is the know-it-all nerd who pulls out random trivia. I’m the one who makes plans, but then at the last minute backs out cuz I’m in the middle of a good book.
Thankfully, I’m a successful enough gold digger that I get to stay home and read and review books all day. But a good second choice dream job would be at a bookstore. Plus, all the dialogue is flippin’ hilarious. Nina’s interactions, not just with her friends, but with random people she meets along the way, are so much fun to read. One thing that the author does so well is the seemingly contradictory nature of LA. I have never been there so I can only base my knowledge on things I’ve read or seen on TV. While in one sentence, Waxman makes fun of the usual LA stereotypes, in the next she applauds the beauty of the city. It was just fascinating and now I kinda want to visit.
Overall, this was a really fun read that made me laugh a lot. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only weird one in the world. I had a great time reading it and I would love to read other things that Waxman has written. I adore this book and I think y’all would too!
Author: Bernice Bloom
Published: April 28, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 21-24, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
The Adorable Fat Girl needs to do something to get fit. What about yoga? I mean – really – how hard can that be? A bit of chanting, some toe touching and a new leotard. Easy! She signs up for a weekend retreat, packs up assorted snacks and heads for the countryside to get in touch with her chi and her third eye. And that’s when it all goes wrong.
Featuring frantic chickens, an unexpected mud bath, men in loose-fitting shorts and no pants, calamitous headstands, a new bizarre friendship with a yoga guru and a quick hospital trip.
Mary Brown is the Adorable Fat Girl and she stars in her own series of novels by Bernice Bloom. In fact there are 14 novels and each can be read as a stand-alone novel, but they also follow up with each other. I have read a few of the novels and have enjoyed them. I hope to read more!
This time Mary decides to take up yoga and go on a retreat. And it is full of unexpected adventures! Like Mary, I know nothing of yoga and have never tried it. I didn’t even know what downward dog is: I had to Google it.
There was only one thing that bothered me in the novel: Mary brought WAY too many snacks for a weekend retreat, it just seemed too extreme. It was as if she was not going to be eating at all during the retreat. (Yes, they did eat meals, albeit very tiny ones. The snuck in snacks would have come in handy in this case, but not as much as she brought.)
Adorable Fat Girl takes up Yoga is a short read, I listened to the audio version and it was just under 3.5 hours long. I enjoyed the ending and how it directly followed into the next Adorable Fat Girl novel which I have already read (Adorable Fat Girl and the Mysterious Invitation).
Many thanks to the author for sending me an audio copy to read and review![Top]
Today I share my review as a part of the blog tour for The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey.
Are you looking for the perfect end of summer holiday read? Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.
Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.
Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.
Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets Jake.
By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr. Right?
Author: Morgen Bailey
Published: July 12, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 15-25, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Izzy is a journalist and her new assignment is to go on 31 dates in 31 days. Needless to say Izzy joins an internet dating site to find the dates and each man is different in his own way; some dates go well while others don’t. If you think Izzy’s dates can’t get worse, just keep reading as Bailey comes up with one crazy situation after another! One night Izzy and her co-worker/best friend even try out speed dating.
Of course Izzy can’t tell the men she is dating them for the newspaper, so she has to create a ‘fake’ her for the dating site and go on dates where she has no chemistry/ and deals with less than honest men. I kept waiting for a date to figure out that she is actually the ‘lady from the paper writing those articles!’
When she starts these dates she doesn’t even know what these men look like as she purposely chose profiles without pictures. Some dates are her type while most are not. At least she gets free drinks…Sometimes.
There was one date that had a touching moment to it. Throughout the novel Izzy references her shopping list of do’s and don’ts of the men that get checked off. At the end of the novel we see the full shopping list.
Izzy’s relationship with her best friend Donna was a pleasant one to see throughout the novel. The Serial Dater’s Shopping List was a fun read, although the ending was predictable yet sweet for me. If you have ever done internet dating at all, you will enjoy this novel as you never know what those first communications are going to bring you.
About the Author:
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey lives and breathes writing. ‘Morgen with an E’ is an author, speaker, tutor, editor, and podcaster. As well as being a competition judge, she is a columnist for Writers’ Forum magazine.
Morgen’s fiction books include crime and mystery novels, and short story collections. They are mostly set against a Northamptonshire background, whether there is crime involved, a dog-detective that can talk, or a serial dater on a mission!
Her non-fiction works are aimed at all levels of writers whether beginners or those who want to refresh their skills – Morgen also tutors in person and has several online writing courses available. She runs her own mentor group on Facebook, very much a collaboration, and she invites all authors to join. Her Writer’s Block Workbooks are a go-to for every author.
When Morgen is not editing, speaking, reading, or writing, she’s walking her dog, out with friends or at literary festivals. The only time she sits down and does nothing is at the cinema but even then she’s making mental notes![Top]