Reader Notes: The Worst Best Man

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

2020 reads: book five



I think this just wasn’t my book. There was quite a bit of language, which I don’t really mind but it did seem out of place or excessive, and there were several graphic steamy scenes that I skipped over. I hadn’t expected that content based on the summary, and found it jarring. I don’t mind a little well-done heat but again, it felt excessive and I skipped the scenes.

But Max and Lina were so sweet and precious that I had to keep reading to find out if they got their Happily Ever After. And the last couple of chapters… oh, those were beautiful.

Was amused by the old car breaking down. Also confused. Does Lina not have AAA? 🤪

I appreciated the author’s ability to weave a compelling story… I just think I’d be happier sticking to YA and NA rather than adult romcoms.

As Many Nows As I Can Get

As Many Nows As I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl

5/5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

2020 reads: book four

I very much enjoyed this one. It made me think, and made me feel, and made me evaluate my own measure of humanity the same way Scarlett had to. The actual writing is very curious, with hopping around in time, but I didn’t have the trouble I often have with a non-linear timeline.

Scarlett, Mina, David… they’re very real in my mind. I feel as though I could find Scarlett, touch her shoulder, and say, “I know what it’s like, I’m here.” But as we weave our way through the story it becomes plain that Scarlett is here, too, and that she’ll come out okay.

(That ending. I cried at my little brother’s soccer game.)

Due to subject matter I’d recommend for 17-18+. Definitely a higher end of the YA spectrum and deals with some challenging subjects in a way that doesn’t disguise or belittle them, but presents them honestly–openly–as the fact of the matter.

Darling Rose Gold

Reader Notes: a mini review

My Elli Girl

2020 reads, book 3: Darling Rose Gold, Stephanie Wrobel’s debut novel.

Releases March 17, 2020.

Dark. Gripping. Sharp. 5/5 stars.


I don’t usually go for psychological thriller type books but I picked this ARC up at my library, and oh. my. word. I read the last third of the book in an hour yesterday afternoon which had orginally been planned for a nap, but I started reading and couldn’t put it down until I got to the end and figured out what was going on.

My new kitten, Emma Indie

Wrobel’s story telling is incredible. She flawlessly captures the flawed nature of humanity. She peels back the layers of human relationships and human behaviours and makes no conclusions, merely lays the pieces before you. She made me think with this book; I had a ‘book hangover’ for the first time in a while with this one.

Recommended for thriller fans 18+

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Reader Notes: a mini review

2020 reads, 2 – The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver.

I got an ARC of this book from one of my libraries, and I’ve just been eating it up. This is one I would go back and reread for the sweet, poignant prose and the beautiful story. Lydia walks us through the question: what would you do if you had more time with the person you love?

This story spoke clearly about love and loss and the transformation that comes with healing. You never quite get over the hole they leave, but you can go forward anyway.


5/5 stars for a brilliantly done novel. This beautiful story releases on March 3rd, 2020, and if you’re interested in a sweet adult romance, I’d recommend this for 17+.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

Reader Notes: a mini review

2020 reads: book 1, A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

January 11, 2020

Oh. My. Heavens.

This book is sweet and bitter and I can’t tell if it feels like 90% dark caoco, or like I got hit in the mouth and am tasting blood. It’s deep and dark and golden and violently beautiful and it feels like the deep woods that I’ve only haunted a few times but are always calling me back. This book is elegant in its catastrophe, and devastating, and simple, and just STUNNING.

My favorite quote:

He likes her because there’s sunshine in her eyes and she knows the secrets to smiling.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (five out of five stars)

Turtles All the Way Down


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

About the book: 

“Wrenching and revelatory.” An instant #1 bestseller, the widely acclaimed Turtles All the Way Down is John Green’s brilliant and shattering new novel.

“A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control.” – People

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.



My Review: 


Five stars

It’s been a month since I finished reading this one and I still don’t have words for it. So sorry.

felt this one more than his others, and a little like Jack Black in Jumanjii, I forgot that he’s not, in fact, a teenage girl. It was that kind of relatable.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the language and some of the content means I recommend for 16+.

Love and the Sea and Everything in Between

Love and the Sea and Everything in Between by Brian McBride

About the book:


For fans of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being A Wallflower and John Green’s The Fault in Our StarsLove and the Sea and Everything in Between shines a light on some of the darkest places of human struggle. Heart-rending and raw, it reminds us that love has the power to bring healing to even the most broken places.

College Freshman Adam West’s world has been falling apart for a long time. Broken, betrayed, abandoned, alone… there’s nothing left for him but a handful of mental illnesses. He’s tired and ready to end it all. Then, Elizabeth Richards comes along. All it took was the kindness of a stranger to make Adam’s world a just little bit brighter. For the first time in a long time, as they travel the West Coast together, he’s starting to see that there are still some adventures worth living for. But pain isn’t easily forgotten. And the past doesn’t just disappear. Sometimes the only way to come alive is to fight and wrestle through all the darkest places.



My Review: 

Five stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this.

It’s not a perfect book. The best ones rarely are. It’s a story about broken people and about edges and lines and humanity. It’s a love story in the rawest sense, and I wish I could explain it better. Love is so much more than romance and this book captures that well.

I’m torn, really, between loving and hating this book. It’s good because it’s a beautiful snapshot of humanity and it’s terrible because there’s no filter, no softening of the edges, but that is also good… This is not for the faint of heart.

I cried over this book because there is so much honesty here, but it’s given so gentle and so lovingly that I feel as though I’ve spent a few hours unburdening myself to a good friend, and it’s a relief.


Recommended for 17+.



Within These Lines

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill


About the book:

Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family in 1941 is everything it “should be” until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.

Degrading treatment make life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world are treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out on behalf of all Japanese Americans, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their values and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.

My review:

Five stars.

I’m a fan of WW1 and WW2 literature, so when I got the opportunity to read Stephanie’s newest novel, I jumped for it.

Within These Lines delivered everything it promised, and then some. Tackling a lesser-addressed area of American history and WW2, this book broke my heart. The story is fictional, but no less real.

This timely message should serve as a reminder of what the war cost us as a nation, and as individuals. It’s not so long ago that we can dismiss it.

Never again.


Highly recommended for ages 13+