July 24, 2019

Friends with ARCs | The Bookish Life of Nina Hill + The Arrival of Someday

pub 7/9/19 by Berkley
Contemporary - Women's Fiction
Received ARC from pub for review
Nina Hill's life revolves around her bookstore job, a competitive trivia team, and spending time at home where she lives alone (usually reading). Even though she does have friends, her mother has always been MIA and she likes being on her own. But then in one fell swoop her life changes. First she founds out that her father, who she didn't even know existed, has passed away and she's thrust into a huge family that consists of brothers, sisters and more who all want to meet her. And then the "annoying trivia guy" Tom, turns out to be not so annoying and is actually quite cute and funny. It's a bit of a mess but she soon learns that it's the good kind of messy that brings her out of her shell. On the surface, I really liked the premise of the story and the parts with her family were particularly well done. It was certainly the part I connected to the most as she realized having siblings, nieces and nephews could actually be pretty great. The romance was sweet too, albeit not nearly as compelling as the family moments. But my biggest hurdle with the book was the writing style. There was just something very impersonal about it and the first half in particular felt slow going. It isn't until the second half that it hits its stride but even then, I still struggled with the overall tone. It's a cute book though and I'm glad I got to check it out, it's just not something that resonated with me in the long run.

What kind of trivia night would you be good at? If there was a Dawson's Creek trivia night at a bar in NYC, I would so be there and totally kick butt.

pub 7/23/19 by HarperTeen
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received e-ARC from pub for review
To be honest, I completely forgot what The Arrival of Someday was about when I started reading it and from the first page until practically the last, it continued to surprise me. Eighteen-year-old Amelia Linehan is living her best life as a member of a roller derby team with her best friend and thinking about college plans. Then the rare liver disorder she was born with has an unexpected flare-up and suddenly she's in need of an organ transplant but there's nothing she can do but wait and hope. What struck me about the entire book is that it never got off-the-charts dramatic or did anything over-the-top just for the sake of pushing the plot forward. Instead it was just candid and honest and focused on the different emotions Amelia goes though. It was her different emotions and thoughts -- shock, sadness, not wanting to be seen as the sick girl -- that propelled the story and I think that's why this came across as so heartfelt and genuine. How her family and best friend are affected also plays a huge role and I'm glad this wasn't sidelined as I've see done in other books with a similar topic. Instead we're privy to painful conversations with her mom, dad and best friend which definitely made my heart break. This is my third book by Jen Malone and the one I'm most impressed by!

Were you part of any competitive team events, athletic or otherwise, in high school? Nope. Does being the unofficial manager of the tennis team for one year count? (All my friends were on the team.)

***

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.


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