November 9 by Colleen Hoover – A book review

November 9 by Colleen Hoover – A book review

I rarely write about books that didn’t work out well for me, especially if it were a hyped one. But then I come across a book that everyone raved about and I could not not rant about it. So here is my book review on November 9 by Colleen Hoover.

About November 9

November 9 by COlleen Hoover

Book Name: November 9

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Fiction – RomanceYoung adult

Characters: Fallon O’ Neil, Benton(Ben) Kessler, Jordyn

Setting: Los Angeles, CaliforniaThe USA

Plot Summary of November 9

On November 9, Ben and Fallon meet at a restaurant and they have an instant connection. Ben is an aspiring writer and Fallon an actress and an avid reader.

But Fallon is moving across the country the next day and also she feels she will not be ready for a serious relationship for the next 5 years (until she turns 23).

So they decide to go on with their lives and date other people but only meet each other every year on November 9. And they would have no more contact with each other other than that one day of a year.

But do their attraction stand strong with just that one in 365 days? You will have to read November 9 by Colleen Hoover to know more.

Book review of November 9

The plot immediately reminded me of One Day (and one of the character mentions it even), but I have tried to overlook that while reviewing.

The book follows the time that the duo spend together, year after year and we get an alternating POV for both characters of the same date. We do not hear more about the characters’ lives apart from that.

November 9 was my first book by Colleen Hoover, an author I had been meaning to read for a long time and my expectations were quite high.

True to her fame, CoHo’s writing hooked me right at the first chapter and the banter between the characters worked out mostly. The characters Ben and Fallon were fleshed out well.

And honestly that is all that I could muster to speak in the pro section.

“Why would a girl care to find herself when she’ll never be able to make herself feel as good as a guy can?”

I understand the heat of the moment and all, but I think this quote from the book made double take. I understand that Fallon is insecure about herself and is generally melodramatic but this is NOT OKAY at all.

I hated how Ben consistently disregarded Fallon’s consent, objectified her, stalked her and ordered her around. And Fallon’s father is not a saint either. To make matters worse, she forgives both of them instantly and starts a good relationship with them at the end. Well why did I even read it?

Also what is with Ben’s obsession about Fallon’s scars sexually? Especially, after knowing his secret (that he was the one who started the fire (intentionally) which left her scarred and disfigured and he knew who she was the whole time) his behavior was just disgusting.

What worked for me

  • I loved Colleen Hoover’s writing and the banter kept me going and hooked.
  • Though the plot seemed similar to One day, it takes a different turn once you get over it.

What may have been better

  • BEN! I wish influential and best selling authors like Colleen Hoover would pay more attention to their characters and what they do.
  • I disliked that Fallon forgave her father too easily.

Content warning

Male ignoring non consent, arson, parent suicide,

Bottom line

November 9 by Colleen Hoover was a well written contemporary New age romance. While it seems to have some HUGE red flags, you can still pick a copy based on the other 4+ star ratings on Goodreads.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover – A book review

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy- A book review

Dumplin’ has been on my book shelf forever now. And I can’t understand how I didn’t read it already, especially with all the praises the book and the movie got. Anyway, did it fare well on my reading scale? Read my book review of Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy right away.

About Dumplin’

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy book cover

Book Name: Dumplin’

Author: Julie Murphy

Genre: Fiction – RomanceYoung adult

Characters: Willowdean Dickson (Dumplin’), Ellen, Bo Larson, Mitch

Setting: Clover City, Texas, The USA

Plot Summary of Dumplin’

Willowdean is the “resident fat girl” (her own words) and is quite happy in her own body – mostly. With her best friend Ellen, a conventional beauty, by her side she doesn’t care much about others opinion her body, including her mother’s – a former beauty queen herself.

But she is more than surprised to find that her crush, Bo Larson, likes her back. She needs some validation as doubts about her body creep into her mind. Of course she has to do something Will would never dare to do, normally.

With some more unlikely candidates on tow, she signs up for the Miss Clover City beauty pageant to show herself and the others that she deserves to a spot as much as every other girl there.

Does she get the boy? More importantly, does she get her much deserved space in the beauty pageantry? You will have to read Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy to know more.

Book review of Dumplin’

First of all, I loved Willowdean, mostly. I loved that she is flawed yet strong and so well developed. Actually, none of the characters in the book are flawless or perfect. Most of them are dimensional and etched out.

I understand the insecurities that Will faces all through her life and why she reacts the way she does (a bit self centered) at times. And it totally worked for me, especially since “losing her weight” or “romance/a boy” were not prescribed as the solutions.

I loved the complicated mother-daughter relationship and how differently each person handles the grief over a losing someone beloved. I kept waiting for Will to shout at her mother for being so pushy about the diet and losing weight, though it would have been a bit cliché.

On the other hand, I didn’t like how she treats her friends and boy friends at all. She was being too mean and inconsiderate to her new friends, in general and it was not addressed in the book.

Secondly that the resolution was quite abrupt.
Spoiler I found it a little odd that Ellen and Will made up so easily at the pageant, out of nowhere. They could have done it any time. I wish it took more than a speech to solve that issue.

What worked for me

  • I loved the whole Dolly Parton fan theme. Many song references went over my head, but on the whole I enjoyed reading about it.
  • Most of the characters in Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy were flawed and fully fleshed out. And I really liked that.
  • I also liked the complicated mother daughter relationship dynamic.

What may have been better

  • I particularly disliked how Will treated others, especially her new friends.
  • This book has a triangular love story. So if you hate that trope, beware.

Content warning

Body shaming, bullying, Fat shaming, grieving the death of a beloved, forced diet and weight loss (mentioned)

Bottom line

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy is a light contemporary read which is (mostly) body positive and sends a powerful message. It is perfect for both young and adult readers.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover – A book review

Boy Who Steals Houses, The by CG Drew – A book review

I seriously don’t know why and how had I not read this book earlier. I loved the author’s debut book A Thousand Perfect Notes, and I absolutely adore Cait’s (the author) blog. So what’s my verdict on this one? Read my book review on The Boy Who Steals Houses by C G Drew to find out.

Boy Who Steals Houses book cover

About The Boy Who Steals Houses

Book Name: The Boy Who Steals Houses

Author: C G Drew

Genre: Fiction – RomanceYoung adult

Characters: Sam and Avery Lou, Moxie, Jack, Jeremy De Lainey

Plot Summary of The Boy Who Steals Houses

15 year old Sam Lou is a homeless teenager, who breaks into empty houses just to find somewhere safe to sleep. He and his older brother Avery have been on the run for sometime now.

All through his life, Sam has been the adult and takes care of Avery, who is on the Autism spectrum. When all the adults in their family fail, Sam had to grow up too quickly and all he ever wanted was a safe home where he belonged with Avery.

But when Avery falls into a bad crowd, Sam is left all alone to fend himself. When he breaks into an “empty house” he realizes what he has been missing all these days.

Does he have to choose between feeling belonged to a family and Avery? If yes, what would he choose? You might have to read The Boy Who Steals Houses by C G Drew to know more.

Book review of The Boy Who Steals Houses

This book will break your heart. Do not come at me when you are a mess trying not to cry – but in a good way.

I absolutely adored every character and I wanted to protect Sam and Avery from any harm ever. And there will be a warm and sunshine-y place for the DeLaineys in my heart forever.

I was a bit worried about how The Boy Who Steals Houses would ever stand up to the expectations that C G Drew had created after her fantastic debut A Thousand Perfect Notes. But the author has proved her worth and it does more than expected.

This book is not too long and I finished in two short sittings. I can understand that it was written for a younger audience but that fact didn’t reduce the pleasure I had reading the book.

What worked for me

  • The characters. I love how fleshed out each of them were and I loved them all.
  • I love the world building and the lyrical writing. C G Drew proves that she is YA writer we all have to watch out for.
  • Though written for a younger audience, The Boy Who Steals Houses will work for all ages well.
  • It is an own voice book and the author herself is on the Autism spectrum. And I think it shows.

What may have been better

  • NOTHING AT ALL.

Content warning

Child abuse and Parental negligence, death of parent, ablest terms

Bottom line

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C G Drew is easily one of the favorite books of the year. Pick it up if you are looking some heart warming characters right away.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover – A book review

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Do you trust blurbs that compare book titles? Do they work for you? Lies We Bury by Elle Marr was recommended for the readers of “Room”. Read my book review of Lies We Bury to Elle Marr to know if it worked for me.

About Lies We Bury

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr Book review

Book Name: Lies We Bury

Author: Elle Marr

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Marissa Mo (Clariss Lou), Jenessa, Lily, Rosemary, Nora, Chet, Shia Tua

Setting: PortlandOregon, The USA

Thanks to Netgalley and Megan Beatie Communications for the free e-copy.

Plot Summary of Lies We Bury

It has been twenty years since Marissa escaped the only place she had known – a basement prison. She reinvented herself a couple of times and now with a new name, a new city and a job as a freelance photographer she moves back to Portland. She decides she has moved on from the trauma, finally.

But it is all happening again.

When she has to cover a series murders in the underground tunnels of Portland, it is too close to home. And to make matters worse, she keeps finding small trinkets from her distant past all over the crime scene.

Is someone trying to frame her as the murderer? Or is it a weird copycat who is commemorating the release of her imprisoner? Read Lies We Bury by Elle Marr to know more.

Book review of Lies We Bury

I started reading Lies We Bury by Elle Marr without much expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

With two alternating timelines (present day and from twenty years ago), Lies We Bury follows Claire trying to navigate her adult life while completely ignoring her past trauma.

Claire is not particularly likeable. Her actions were not well thought through, especially when it is apparent that she is wrong. Well, that could be off putting and annoying after a while.

I am a sucker for books with psycho/serial killers, Lies We Bury seems to have it all. It made me guess and then second guess every person. Trust me, there were many out there. Though the ending may have been duller than what I had in my mind, it made sense. No complaints there.

What worked for me

  • Reading the past based on a seven year old’s version made it all the more real.
  • I liked the broken and dysfunctional relationship that Claire has with each of her sisters and the love for all the mothers.

What may have been better

  • The main lead may get on the nerves with her bad decisions and may be off putting for a few.

Content warning

Physical and sexual abuse, imprisonment,

Bottom line

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr is fast paced thriller that will keep you hooked till the end. Yes, it is similar to “Room” but with a darker future. I will definitely be on the look out for the author’s other books.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover – A book review

Beach Read by Emily Henry – A book review

I hoped I will like Beach Read by Emily Henry, especially after hearing raving reviews from all over the blogosphere. But when I found out that it was about two writers, I knew I was going to love it. Did that happen so for me?

Read my book review of Beach Read by Emily Henry to know more.

About Beach Read

Beach Read by Emily Henry Book cover

Book Name: Beach Read

Author: Emily Henry

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Augustus Everett, January Andrews, Peet,

Setting: MichiganThe USA

Plot Summary of Beach Read

January Andrews, a romance writer, gives up her belief in love when she hears some life shattering news at her father’s funeral. And that pushes her into a writer’s slump and a financial crunch.

What happens when a romance writer stops believing in love and romance? Ask January Andrews. Her father is dead and she comes to know that her parents’ marriage was not a fairy tale romance as she grew up believing.

Now she is in a writing slump, her mother is not speaking to her and she has to go to her father’s cabin for the summer, because that is all she can afford to, anymore.

To make matters worst, her neighbor is her college nemesis, someone who ridiculed her women centric romance novels.

Does the summer get any better for January? Can she win over her toughest critic? You have to read Beach Read by Emily Henry to know more.

Book review of Beach Read

As a bibliophile, I love reading about writers, and a romance with two writers was just a perfect way to spend my afternoon.

Despite that Beach Read was a bit hard to get into. Of course, it could have been a totally “me” situation. But it is not exactly a fun read that the book cover or the blurb made it out to be.

I loved the witty banter between the main characters and Beach Read was more than a rom-com or just a romance. It deals with many intense topics like grief, loss and infidelity.

The best part about reading Beach Read is getting to know the working process of two different writers and understanding what goes inside their brains. I enjoyed that entirely.

What worked for me

  • I loved the witty banter and lively romance of the lead pair.
  • Beach Read deals with intense topics like grief and infidelity and is more than just a romance book.
  • If you want to see what goes behind your favorite author’s brain, Beach Read might show a glimpse of their writing process.

What may have been better

  • If you are looking for a breezy read, Beach Read may prove a bit beyond that. But that may not be a bad thing.

Content warning

Mention of a cult, past mentions of child abuse and domestic abuse, mentions of breast cancer and chemo, adultery, death of a parent.

Bottom line

Beach Read by Emily Henry is a well written romance book that deals with grief and loss. If you wanna read a book about writers writing your favorite book, this might be a great choice.

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