ARC Review: No Judgments by Meg Cabot

Synopsis:

no judgments.jpgWhen a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from William Morrow at BookExpo. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on September 24, 2019.*

I typically love Meg Cabot’s books. Whether it’s her YA novels or her adult novels, I almost always enjoy them. Which is why I was very disappointed by No Judgments.

It’s been a while since I read a Cabot book, but she was signing at BookExpo and I figured why not. I mean, she’s Meg Cabot. She’s, to put it mildly, a legend and an inspiration. I could not miss out. So I got an ARC of this book, which I didn’t really know much about, and decided to give it a try (after I read the quick novella that precedes it, Bridal Boot Camp). Unfortunately, No Judgments wasn’t really interesting.

The novel follows Bree who lives on Little Bridge Island, a fictional island off the coast of Florida, that she used to visit with her family over the summer. Except Bree is now there to stay because her father is dead, her ex sucks, and her mom didn’t totally believe her when she tried to explain why her ex sucks. The premise of this novel, at least based on the synopsis, is that a hurricane comes through the island and many residents have to leave the island without their pets so Bree decides to rescue them all. With some help from the town hottie Drew, of course.

The issue is that plot point doesn’t come until you’re about halfway through the book. Most of the book is build up to the hurricane. Bree gets calls from pretty much everyone who’s not on the island warning her to leave; she refuses. Meanwhile, everyone on the island is chilling as if a hurricane isn’t heading right towards them. Basically, there were just way too many conversations about this hurricane and not enough actual romance, which is simply because the romance doesn’t really get going until the hurricane arrives.

Thus, I was pretty bored for most of the novel. Once the hurricane hit things got a little more interesting, but because it took so long to build up to the romance it just ended up feeling pretty rushed to me. There wasn’t really any kind of slow burn or instalove with conflict that pulls them apart and then they make their way back to each other. Bree and Drew kind of just fell into each other and then the book was pretty much over.

Therefore, I cannot recommend this Cabot novel. Don’t let this dissuade from reading Cabot’s books entirely if you haven’t yet though. I suggest reading the Mediator series if you love YA and The Boy Next Door series if you like adult romance. But No Judgments? Skip it.

Highlight here (sexual assault/harassment memory) for trigger warnings!

Borrow or Buy: Borrow.

Stars:

2 stars

Other Reviews
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Elley the Book Otter
The Shelf Life Chronicles

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ARC Book Review: The Boy Is Back

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Synopsis:

In this brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a scandal brings a young man back home to the small town, crazy family, and first love he left behind.

Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles—including a broken heart—behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich and famous on the professional golf circuit.  Then one tiny post on the Internet causes all of those troubles to return . . . with a vengeance.

Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns—until his family hires her to save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another—or the memories of that one fateful night.  And soon everything they thought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they—and the entire town of Bloomville—might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on October 18, 2016.*

Meg Cabot is back! Not that she ever really left, but you know what I mean. I was so excited to hear about this novel. At first I didn’t even realize The Boy is Back is part of Cabot’s Boy series but once I realized that I knew I had to read it. For those that don’t know the Boy series are three (now four) books written in the form of emails, online chat rooms, text messages, journals, etc. Basically it’s an unconventional writing style and I’ve read and loved every single one.

I believe the first three are all connected somehow but I’m not sure how The Boy is Back is connected. Then again I haven’t read the Boy series in years so I probably missed the connection but I’m pretty sure Dolly and Tim were in the other books. Again, I’m not sure though. Anyway, the point it just as I loved the other books in the series I absolutely loved The Boy is Back. It was funny, romantic, and only took me a day to read. I couldn’t put it down.

I loved the cast of characters in this book. Becky and Reed were perfect and I loved Becky’s sister, Nicole. She was so funny and pretty spot on about everything going on in Becky’s life. Also, Reed’s family is a hot mess of hilarity. I loved them all, except Trimble. She was super annoying but she’s supposed to be so that’s fine.

The only issue I had with this book is you it shouldn’t read be read as an ebook. This may be because I have an advanced edition but the formatting of the emails and some of the texts looks a little off digitally. Plus, I think the formatting is way more fun when you can see it in print. That’s how I read the other books and loved it that way.

Other than that this book was amazing. If you’re looking for a cute, quick, and fun read make sure to check out this novel. You’ll love it.

Stars:

5 stars

Other Reviews

Penni’s Perceptions

Book Review: Remembrance

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*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be on sale on Feb. 2, 2016.*

Synopsis from Amazon:

All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.

From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child, to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night.

Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?

What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?

If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.

I was so excited when I received the ARC for this novel because I loved the Mediator series when I was in junior high/high school. I read the whole series at least twice and it was always my go to series when I was in a reading slump.

It was so great to see Suze and Jesse again, especially now that they could really be together. It was also interesting to see so many familiar characters, including Father Dom., Debbie, Kelly, all the step brothers, and of course, Paul Slater.

I really liked how Meg Cabot set up this sequel. It was crazy seeing how all the stepbrothers turned out and what they’re doing in the present. A lot of it was unexpected and some of it didn’t surprise me at all.

At first I was worried I wouldn’t like Suze and Jesse as much as I used to. I forgot how old fashioned Jesse is and how stubborn Suze could be. But as I kept reading the traits that I loved about them shined through and I remembered why I fell in love with this series in the first place.

Jesse is just as sweet, overprotective, and a gentleman as he always has been and Suze is just as  smart, kind, and kick ass as always. I loved getting to see them in the present and being in an adult relationship.

This is a very cute and fun read, and I wouldn’t mind another book about these two. I definitely think there’s room for at least one more book and I’d love to read that but I am also very satisfied with this ending.

If you loved the Mediator series anywhere near as much as I did then you definitely have to pick up this book. If for no other reason than for nostalgia. But honestly, it’s a great read on its own.

Borrow or Buy: I know I want a copy of this for my own shelf so I guarantee you’ll want one on yours. Buy it!

Stars:

4 stars

 

POLL: Who’s the Best Man Crush Monday? Pt. 2

Last week I asked you guys who’s your favorite Man Crush Monday thus far and because I’ve done so many I divided it up into two parts. Although there were many great contenders last week including Four from Divergent  and Gale from The Hunger Games, the winner has been determined.

In a very close race the winner is Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments series. I love Jace and I could talk about him for days but I already did that in another post so I’ll spare you all.

This week we have part two of the man crush battle. Vote below to choose who you think is the best man. After a winner is decided there will be a final vote between the two to see which man is actually the most crushable. I’ll be posting the final battle on Saturday therefore you only have 24 hours to vote for your fave in this round, so don’t miss out.

Don’t see your fave on the list? Let me know in the comments who’s your favorite fictional man and I’ll try to include him in an upcoming Man Crush Monday.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Heather Wells

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via Whitney Thompson’s Twitter

Heather Wells is a hilarious, self-assured narrator. Although she’s fallen from teen pop stardom she’s taking this in stride, deciding to work as a Resident Director at NYU and get a degree. She’s sometimes awkward and always quirky. Her love for food is something I greatly appreciate and her crush on her landlord, Cooper, is absolutely adorable.

Heather’s unbelievably relatable with her struggles in love, money, family, and health. Moreover, being a self made detective she also finds herself in a heap of trouble that makes for quite funny situations and stories. She’s quite the catch and once she realizes that her self-confidence makes her the perfectly imperfect protagonist.

Meg Cabot has the ability to create strong female leads in her novels and Heather is no different. If you haven’t read the Heather Wells mysteries yet please do. They’re fantastic.

“I’ll just go at my own pace. Nice and easy. Here we go. There, see? I’m doing it. I’m running! Hey, look at me! I’m running! I’m-
Okay, well, that’s enough of that. Whew. I mean, a girl could hyperventilate from doing that. And seriously, it’s my first day. Don’t want to overdo it.” – Big Boned

Man Crush Monday: Cooper Cartwright

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Cooper Cartwright is the hottest landlord a woman could ask for, which makes Heather Wells, the protagonist of the Heather Wells Mysteries, the luckiest woman alive.

Cooper owns the brownstone that Heather is renting, now that she’s no longer a pop star and single since she and Cooper’s little brother broke up. Cooper’s also a private investigator and wants nothing to do with his famous brother and his star studded lifestyle, which makes him the perfect match for Heather.

Cooper, of course, is super attractive but not in a pretty boy way. He’s a tough and self-made man who rejects the rich, privileged lifestyle he grew up in (not that he doesn’t benefit from it, of course, but he doesn’t flaunt it either). He’s a really chill guy who cares about and respects Heather for who she is not what size she wears.

This post has now made me want to reread the whole Heather Wells series because honestly it’s been too long and I love Cooper and Heather respectively. If you haven’t read this series yet it’s one of Meg Cabot’s best and you should definitely check it out.

As you pointed out, I should have left well enough alone. But… well, it’s not in my nature. Let’s face it, though: It’s not in your nature, either, Heather. That’s why we make such a perfect pair. We’re lucky to have found each other. I feel sorry sometimes for people like your mom. Maybe her problem isn’t that she’s a dirty, no good, whatever-you-were-going-to-call-her. It’s that she was never lucky enough to find her soul mate, like we were.” The Bride Wore Size 12

Woman Crush Wednesday: Susannah “Suze” Simon

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I haven’t read the Mediator series in quite sometime but I still love Suze Simon. I have read and reread this series at least twice (but quite possibly more than that). Besides having the super cool and also interesting ability to see, speak to, and touch ghosts, Suze is an all around cool person.

Her abilities to interact with ghosts makes her a mediator whose job it is to make sure ghosts move on to … well, wherever it is they’re supposed to go. Although Suze isn’t always thrilled about the job she still does it, which is something I admire about her.

Besides this, Suze also has awesome fashion sense and a bit of a tough girl attitude. She feels like she can take care of herself and doesn’t need anyone’s help, which isn’t always true. When she has to she’s willing to swallow her pride and accept help, although she usually does it begrudgingly.

Overall, Suze is compassionate and really does try her best to help the ghosts she meets. She’s also really close to her mom since it’s been just the two of them for a while after her Dad died. Even though her mom has remarried and Suze has a new step family filled with three step brothers, Suze still feels protective over her mom and eventually becomes protective of her new family as well.

Suze has a big heart even though she tries to hide it sometimes and I kind of like that about her. A girl with a tough exterior but a heart of gold.

If you haven’t read the Mediator series yet I would definitely recommend it, especially because there’s apparently a new adult book in the series coming out next year. I can’t wait!

‘I’ll tell you what kind of girl I’m not,’ I said crankily. ‘I am not the kind of girl who’s looking to share her room with a member of the opposite sex. Understand me? So either you move out, or I force you out. It’s entirely up to you. I’ll give you some time to think about it. But when I get back here, Jesse, I want you gone.’ – Shadowland