October 14, 2020

Friends with ARCs | A Golden Fury + Crazy Stupid Bromance

pub 10/13/20 by Wednesday Books
YA - Historical Fantasy
Received e-ARC from pub for review
A Golden Fury
 is all about one girl's ambition to prove her mettle as an alchemist by creating the legendary Philosopher's Stone. Thea Hope has been working closely with her famous alchemist mother to create the Stone and just as their dreams are about to be reached, Thea's mother destroys it while falling to its curse of madness. But with the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford to live with her father, who doesn't know she exists, for her safety. Turns out, he's an alchemist too, and despite her warnings -- he and everyone else around him want to use her knowledge without heeding her advice. It's a race for Thea to create the Stone and break its curse so she can save the people she loves. And the book is very much plot-driven and singularly focused on Thea's journey to create the Stone. So while the pacing was there and the conflict was compelling, the characters were unfortunately lacking. Not nearly enough time was spent exploring the complicated relationships she had with each of her parents, or the "love interest" (note the deliberate quotes I used). I felt we were getting told a lot of things that happened in the past without having a chance to see those dynamics for ourselves in the present to feel invested. I think the nature of the story makes you want to root for Thea to succeed but I wish she, and her journey, had left more of an impression. 

What was your favorite branch of science to study in school? | During either my junior or senior year in high school, I took Human Anatomy & Physiology and it was my favorite science class I had ever taken (and because it was an AP class, I got out of taking any sciences in college!). I just learned so much about the human body, that I've since forgotten, but I remember thinking it was so interesting at the time. 


pub 10/27/20 by Berkley
Contemporary Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review
While the Bromance Book Club series isn't exactly a favorite, I do find it very entertaining and look forward to every new installment. Crazy Stupid Bromance focuses on Alexis Carlisle and Noah Logan, which is a pairing I didn't see coming (but totally here for it). After Alexis came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef's sexual harassment, she opened up a cafe that would create a safe space for other survivors like herself. So when a new customer approaches her, she assumes it's to confide in her -- not to announce that their sisters. She turns to her best friend Noah, who happens to a computer security expert, for help and of course, he does. But while they're uncovering that truth, the real secret we all care about is that they're in love with each other. Except both are hiding it in fear that they'll ruin their friendship. All their friends can clearly see what's happening so naturally, the book club strikes again by recruiting Noah and giving him a romance novel to read. That is always my favorite part of each book. Just listening to these men talk about romance and their interpretations of these novels. I did enjoy the romance as well but I will say that the whole sub-plot with Alexis' long-lost sister (and by extension, family) failed to capture my attention. The "conflict" it was supposed to bring to Alexis and Noah just felt forced. The series' continues to be strongest when focusing on the book club and the women who have all become friends. 

What would you name your cat? | This isn't a spoiler but Alexis has a cat named Beefcake, who is just hilarious (star of this book, you guys). If I had a cat, I'd name her Luna after the cat in Sailor Moon.


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


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