The Blonde Bookworm

The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I by Carolyn Mackler -- Review

Monday, April 22, 2019

Title: The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I
Author: Carolyn Mackler 
Pages: 304 
Publishing: May 29th 2018 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens


Virginia Shreves’ world implodes again in this long-awaited follow-up to Printz Honoree The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.

Sixteen-year-old Virginia Shreves’ life is finally back on course: she’s accepted who she is inside and out and is rebuilding her relationship with brother Byron, whose date-rape charge shattered everything.

But just as she adjusts to her new normal, her world turns upside down again. Sparks with boyfriend Froggy fade, her best friend bombshells bad news, and then the police arrest Byron. As Virginia struggles to cope, she meets Nate, an artist with his own baggage. The pair vow not to share personal drama. But secrets have a way of coming out, and theirs could ruin everything.

Just in time for The Earth, My Butt, and Other BIg Round Things’ 15th anniversary, Virginia’s hope-filled story of love, friendship, and the beauty in imperfection continues, by acclaimed author Carolyn Mackler.


I think I feel the same way about this novel as I did the first in this sequel... slightly indifferent. There were lots of things to like, and then there were also a lot of things that I felt were probably not great for younger girls to read. I thought Virginia was a tough and interesting girl, but I also felt like there were times that she needed to stick up for herself and be a little more responsible for her choices. I thought she was a great character with a big heart, but I just kept hoping she would stand up for herself to her family a little more. 

All in all, it was a cute read. It was entertaining and kept me flipping pages until the end, but I honestly just kept feeling really uncomfortable and I felt sorry for all of the characters in the book. It was just a little sad for me and not my favorite read. Thank you to Bloomsbury Children's Books and NetGalley for sharing this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 2.5/5

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker -- Review

Friday, April 19, 2019

Title: Say You Still Love Me
Author: K.A. Tucker
Pages: 384
Publishing: August 6th 2019 by Atria Books


Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancĂ©—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.


This book brought back so many nostalgic camp memories for me and I loved every second of it. The way the story jumps back and forth between past and present added extra suspense to the novel and the characters were delectable. I absolutely loved everything about Say You Love Me and now I kind of want to read it again! Attractive and successful girl falls in love with boy from the wrong side of the tracks... yep-- count me in! 

I don't think I've read a single book from K.A. Tucker yet that I haven't loved and Say You Love Me was no exception to that rule. I loved this novel from start to finish and couldn't put it down. I would highly recommend it if you love some feel good romance! I can't wait for you guys to pick this one up! Thank you so much to Atria and NetGalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 5/5 

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid -- Review

Monday, April 15, 2019

Title: Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Pages: 368
Publishing: March 5th 2019 by Ballantine Books


Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.


From the first page to the very last, this book had me hooked and dying for more. I loved the setting and the unique writing style. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview concept and I think it really added a lot to the novel. I loved how real the characters seemed because they were so eloquently placed into real life settings with real bands and other famous people. There were multiple times that I had to remind myself that The Six were not actually a real band. 

This novel is definitely a knock out win for Taylor Jenkins Reid and I would highly recommend it for book clubs or a good summer read. It will have you singing rock'n roll and wishing you were born in a different era. Thank you to Booksparks, Random House, and NetGalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 4/5 

The Patient One by Shelley Shepard Gray -- Review

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Title: The Patient One 
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray 
Pages: 304
Publishing: April 9th 2019 by Gallery Books


Seven former best friends reunite and struggle to heal after the tragic death of one of their own in this evocative and heartrending novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Gift and Her Secret

When word had gotten out that Andy Warner had committed suicide, everyone in Walnut Creek, Ohio, had been shocked. For seven men and women in their twenties, some Amish, some Mennonite, and some English, each of whom had once counted his or herself as one of Andy’s best friends, it had been extremely painful.

And, maybe, a source of guilt.

Years have passed since they’d all been together last. Some of them got into trouble. A couple got into arguments. Eventually they all drifted apart. But even though none of them really saw each other anymore, there was a steadfast certainty that they’d always have each other’s backs—even when no one else did. Their bond was that strong…until Andy did the unthinkable.

Now the seven remaining friends, still reeling from Andy’s death, have vowed to look after each other again. As far as they’re concerned, it doesn’t matter that they’re now in their twenties and have drifted far apart. They need to connect again…for Andy.

With her signature “taut writing” (RT Book Reviews), Shelley Shepard Gray delivers a lyrical and heartfelt tale of friendship and forgiveness.


This was definitely a new genre for me. Contemporary women's fiction but with a strong Amish background. It was interesting and entertaining, but I don't know if it was for me. The love stories were really sweet and I think the main theme of the story was great, but I just couldn't find a connection with the characters. I felt like they weren't really relatable for me and that made the novel fall a little flat. 

It was a quick and easy read and it kept me entertained. I would recommend this novel to readers who are interested in a unique women's fiction read. I think you have to be a little open minded for this novel, and it just wasn't my cup of tea. Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Review 2.5/5

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica -- Review

Monday, April 8, 2019

Title: When the Lights Go Out 
Author: Mary Kubica 
Pages: 384
Publishing: September 4th 2018 by Park Row


A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica 

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?


Well that was an interesting read. I have to admit, it wasn't my favorite from Kubica. I absolutely loved the first half of this novel, but Kubica slowly started to lose me a little more and more as the chapters went on. I thought the beginning of the novel was great and really intriguing how it would go back and forth between past and present, but the story really lost its steam around the halfway point. 

Honestly, this book was pretty entertaining, I was just disappointed by the ending. I thought it seemed like Kubica put so much work into the story and then got tired at the end and just threw something together for the ending. It just didn't feel right for the novel and I hate that such a great story had such a weak finish. I hate to admit it, but I probably wouldn't recommend this read to friends. Thank you to NetGalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 2/5

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan -- Review

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Title: Wicked Saints
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Pages: 385
Publishing: April 2nd 2019 by Wednesday Books


A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..


What an amazing read! I absolutely loved the premise of this story and the characters really pulled me in from the very beginning. I loved how unique the plot was and I couldn't put the book down. The setting was magical and I could picture every scene because the writing style was eloquent and very descriptive. There honestly wasn't anything about this novel that I didn't enjoy! 

All in all, it was fast paced, entertaining, and full of unique and fun characters. I loved all of the magic and the setting had me dreaming of winters in Europe. I would highly recommend this novel if you've loved Sarah J. Maas novels or other YA Fantasy. Thank you to Wednesday Books for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 4/5 

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin -- Review

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Title: All We Ever Wanted
Author: Emily Giffin
Pages: 334
Publishing: June 26th 2018 by Ballantine Books


In the riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love and Something Borrowed, three very different people must choose between their family and their values.

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.


All We Ever Wanted was the perfect summer time beach read. It was fast paced, entertaining, and filled with dramatic flair. All of the things you want when baking in the sun on the beach! There wasn't anything super special about this novel, and I don't particularly think it was Giffin's best, however there wasn't really anything wrong with it either. It was just a simple and entertaining novel. 

All in all, there's not too much to say about this book. It was good, I liked it, but it isn't one that will stick in my head for long. BUT with that being said, it really was entertaining and perfect for a light and easy summer read. Thank you to Random House and Negalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 3/5 
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