Tag: romance

Book Review: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The Chemist
Author:
Stephenie Meyer

Narrator: Ellen Archer
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 12-22, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

Jessica’s Review:

I listened to the audiobook version for a book club I am joining. I don’t think I would have ever picked it up on my own otherwise, but I am so glad I did!! I enjoyed The Chemist immensely. It has just about everything a reader could want: Action, thriller, a strong female lead who is tiny in stature, and there is even some romance! There is also the world’s best canine sidekick with the best name ever! 

I had read the Twilight series as just about everyone else many years ago and had seen the movie The Host, but not read the novel, so I wasn’t sure where Meyer was going to go with The Chemist.   I got a different novel than I was expecting based on the title,  and I wasn’t really expecting much going in.   

This was a good novel that kept me interested.  I had figured one ‘twist’ out early thanks to me being a heavy thriller reader, and at first, I wasn’t sure about the novel. But I liked our female character, she can definitely do damage despite her size: In fact she can torture when needed and she is good at it too! For me the torture was just graphic enough to make the reader squirm just a little. 

I liked all of our three main characters and main dog sidekick.  The whole novel I kept thinking “Don’t let anything happen to the dog!”  The Chemist is a fast-paced novel that would have kept me turning the pages if I had read the physical book.  I never lost interest in what was coming next.  I’m glad we had a strong female lead in this novel. This is a long novel at over 500 pages, but never lagged and worth the read. The audiobook was narrated by Ellen Archer and she brought the novel to life for me. The epilogue wrapped things up nicely. I don’t see there ever being another novel, so it brought a good conclusion to The Chemist for me.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity
Author: Colleen Hoover

Published:  December 7, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 25- 28, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

Jessica’s Review:

Verity is my first ‘CoHo’ novel, though I have several more of hers on my TBR. Hoover is known for her romances, but this one is far from that: Verity is an extremely dark thriller and more. It is very different from her other novels, and I wish she would write more like Verity!   

Verity will not be for everyone and there should be trigger warnings galore which will also be

***SPOILERS:
There is graphic sex which includes adultery, child abuse, child murder, and attempted home abortion.
END SPOILERS***

Verity is a novel where it is best to go in knowing as little as possible.  To say much will be giving things away.  What you need to know is that it is a dark, intense, disturbing novel that pulls you in from the beginning with a gruesome death. The reader will have no idea what they are getting into by starting this novel and from the start this one pulls no punches.  I’ll just say this: I have read a few novels with dark characters (Eva in We Need to Talk About Kevin should have never become a mother and Amy Dunne in Gone Girl.. Well… Let just say I wanted to throw my kindle with that one…) These characters are NOTHING compared to Verity!

We have two POVs in Verity: Lowen which is present day, and Verity’s memoir which is beyond disturbing.  I can’t say enough how dark this novel is and it will be too much for some. But… in addition to the disturbing nature this novel will be compulsive and addicting. As you get closer to the end you don’t want to stop reading.  If I had been reading the physical book I bet those pages would have kept turning!   There was a part I had figured out, but not quite the why behind it.  And then we have that epilogue! The reader is left to determine their own thoughts at the end of the novel, and I still haven’t decided for myself what I want that to be!

I don’t know what it means for both Hoover and myself: How was Hoover able to come up with/write a novel so twisted and that I really enjoyed it!  My message to CoHo is this: PLEASE write more thrillers and I promise to read more of your romances!

Verity is extremely recommended if you can handle the content.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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ARC Review: If We Break Up by Cheyanne Young

If We Break Up
Author: Cheyanne Young

To Be Published: March 8, 2022
247 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 20-29, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Honey Blackwell’s high school sweetheart is getting on her nerves. Like everyone else in their small town, Luca thinks he and Honey should take over his family business and live happily ever after. Honey wants more. That’s why she secretly applied to her dream college in Colorado. When she gets in, Luca is devastated. After the biggest argument of their lives, Honey discovers a scientific journal that claims people find their true soul mate after being in five relationships. She poses this experiment to Luca, and soon they’ve made a pact to break up, go on five dates with different people, and then decide if they’re truly meant to be together forever. It’s science, after all, and science has never let Honey down.

Finding people to date is awkward, exciting, and a little futile. None of Honey’s dates are soul mate material, which is starting to prove Luca’s hypothesis—that they are already soul mates. When the rest of STEM club comes down with food poisoning, Honey finds herself at the weekend science convention with Mason, her mortal enemy. Mason, the guy who also got into her dream college. The guy she just accidentally kissed.

She likes him. But she loves Luca. As she struggles to choose between the picture-perfect future she already has and the temptation of the unknown, she learns that love isn’t a scientific equation. It’s a choice. And now Honey must make hers.

Jessica’s Review:

I loved If We Break Up!   This is a YA contemporary novel with a simple premise to it: Honey (Yes, that is her name!) and Luca have grown up together their whole lives and both sets of their parents were high school sweethearts and all work together. Honey and Luca are ‘the couple’  at their high school and their whole lives are already planned out. But…. Honey has doubts. Then she finds an article that says you find your soulmate after five relationships.  Honey and Luca decide to mutually break up and go on five dates and then decide if they want to get back together.

But finding five dates is harder than Honey planned on.  And she did not plan on the feelings she felt seeing Luca with other girls… Then Honey starts seeing her long term ‘enemy’ Mason in a different way after a weekend together for a STEM club event.

What will Honey decide to do????

I know what my opinion of Luca and Mason both were and what direction I wanted Honey to go in.  You think the novel will end up going in one direction and then Young pulls a jab in there and throws you off.  This happened a few times for me as the novel went in directions I was not expecting, which includes family drama.

If We Break Up takes place in Texas and an earlier chapter brings us to Dinosaur Valley State Park. I really enjoyed this chapter because my sister lived in Texas for a few years and when I visited her we went there. I really enjoyed remembering that trip!

The ending was absolutely perfect!  This novel ended the way it needed to and I adored it.  This is a coming-of-age novel and Honey does learn about herself by the end.  Will Honey choose the known with Luca or go for her dream? Or will it be a little bit of both?? You must read If We Break Up to find out!

Many thanks to the author Cheyanne Young for sending me an arc to read and review!

If We Break Up is highly recommended!

Here are some picture of my sister and myself at Dinosaur State Valley Park:

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

**You can also directly order a **signed copy** of If We Break Up from the author via her Etsy Shop! If you decide to order from her, let her know Jessica’s Reading Room sent you!

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