[Book Talk] Night Music by Jojo Moyes

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: August 2017

Synopsis:

The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge.

My Thoughts

It’s official – I really need to read more Jojo Moyes books! I have loved everything I’ve read by her and this book has been on my shelf for at least three years now and I don’t know why I hadn’t read it sooner. It took me just a bit longer to get into it but once I got into it, I was hooked. I loved the story of the Spanish House and the fact that everyone seems to want it. I loved the violin music, the free spirit quality of Isabel, and I even loved what a villain Matt seemed to make.

I’m never sure what to expect when I dive into a Moyes book but I’m always pleased with what I’m reading. She writes such great characters and such fun and compelling stories that I can’t help but want to read everything she has written! Deep down, this book is about human relationships and sacrifices we have to make, but I love how it’s also almost a message to people who might be getting work done on their homes – it makes you wonder if you can really trust who you hire and question if the work they’re doing is necessary or not.

This is one of Moyes’s older books and I look forward to reading more of her older stuff. Her new books are amazing and I’m so happy that her older ones are, too! She’s definitely a favourite of mine.

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[ARC Talk] Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock

Book Details:

Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Raincoast Books)
Read: August 2017

Synopsis:

A new spin on the classic smart-girl-and-bad-boy setup, this witty contemporary romance shows how easily a friendship – even one built on an elaborate lie – can become so much more.

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all.

Debut author Tiffany Pitcock delivers a spot-on depiction of first love and the high school rumor mill in Just Friends, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Raincoast Books for a review copy of this book! 

I always love getting contemporary romance books for review. I’m kind of over the dystopian, post-apocalyptic books right now, but a good contemporary book I can always devour.

This book started out just how I love my books – quirky and fun, with adorable characters who have great chemistry. I loved the relationship between Jenny and Chance but while it was cute in the beginning, it seemed to get pretty serious crazy fast. And this isn’t romance that I’m talking about! Can insta-friendship be a thing? Like, one moment you didn’t know this person and the next they’re your best friend the only person you would do anything for. It just wasn’t believable.

I also thought that this book could have done well enough on its own with two people falling in love (not totally a spoiler, since it’s in the synopsis), but there was way too much drama thrown in, especially parental drama. The parents weren’t realistic at all to me. I also kind of despised the romantic drama in the book and I felt like a lot of it gave the wrong message to young readers.

I did like that this book was told in alternating POVs, something I love reading, and it’s nice to get into both of the main characters’ heads in a story. Ultimately, though, that wasn’t enough for me to really enjoy the story the way I wanted to – there were just too many flaws. I did enjoy reading it and especially loved the first half, but it’s probably not a book I’d recommend.

[Book Talk] The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: July 2017

Synopsis:

From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

My Thoughts

When I had heard Taylor Jenkins Reid was releasing a new book, I was excited. I had devoured and loved all four of her other books and had really high hopes for her upcoming release. And then I saw the title and was a little confused. Was this going to be a departure from her style of writing that I’ve come to love? I was intrigued but not overly impressed and figured all I had to do was dive in and read it to see if it lived up to the author I love.

And it was great! I wouldn’t say that it was her best book, but she writes in such a way that you’re immediately drawn in and you get those mysteries of the past intermingled with the mysteries of the present and that leaves you with a book that’s hard to put down. I loved hearing about Evelyn’s past and why she had seven husbands, learning about her career and how she got to where she was. I also loved Monique dealing with her present and learning to take a page from Evelyn’s book when it comes to dealing with her issues. I kind of wish we had gotten to know Monique a bit more, as Evelyn was a bit of a hard character to really connect to, but I did love the story how it was drawn out.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see the whole mystery of the story coming, but I knew it had to be big. I’m sure some people could have predicted what was going to happen, but I’m glad that I didn’t. It was definitely something that lived up to all of the shocking cliffhangers throughout the story. I think the only real reason I would rate this as a 4 instead of a 5 is that I didn’t find that I connected with any of the characters in the book, finding Evelyn a pretty hard character to actually like, and I wanted more present. It’s still written similar to Taylor’s other books, where we get two alternate timelines, but there was just something that wasn’t quite like her other addicting reads. I’m still definitely interested to see what she writes next!