Reading Roundup | March 2023

pub 1/3/23 by Delacorte Press  • YA Contemporary  • Received from pub for review⭐⭐💫 2.5 stars | I loved the premise of Margot having a magical night in Paris with an American boy and their promise to meet in NYC a year later (talk about Before Sunrise* vibes!), where they both plan to pursue their dreams (she’s a chef!), only for her to learn this lesson of recognizing and appreciating reality versus fantasy. It set the stage for a good coming-of-age story as Margot navigates a brand new city and culture (she was raised in France), evolving family dynamics, and a brand new job at a restaurant. But the execution and even the characterization of Margot just fell flat for me. Even with all the right elements in place that would typically hold my interest, I just couldn’t connect to it. It honestly might be that as I’m getting older, the more removed I feel from YA contemporary novels like this one so despite how I feel, if you’re interested I think it’s worth checking out and deciding for yourself (plus I loved the author’s debut novel, so there’s that to consider too). 

*Before Sunrise is a magical movie from the 90’s and its sequel, Before Sunset, is my favorite movie of all time. 

* * *

pub 1/24/23 by Berkley • Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐💫 2.5 stars | This author-couple’s adult debut, The Roughest Draft, was one of my favorite books of 2022 so I went into Do I Know You? with admittedly high expectations and I’m sad to report that it didn’t work for me⎯it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Eliza and Graham are celebrating their five-year anniversary but it feels like they’re strangers. So ironically, when a guest assumes Eliza and Graham are single and introduces them at a bar, they go along with it and suddenly, playing pretends allows them to “date” again and work through a lot of what had been previously left unspoken. In some ways, I can see the appeal of this idea but ultimately, I don’t like how pretending to be different people allowed them to finally communicate (although obviously, we see that they really do love each other for who they are in the end). This unfortunately was another case of me being unable to connect to the story and the characters. 

* * *

pub 2/7/23 by Berkley • Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐ 3 stars | Hallie Welch has had this huge crush (to put it mildly) on Julian Vos ever since they almost kissed during a party at his family’s winery when she was fourteen and she’s tried to put it behind her. Then Julian returns home for a sabbatical from his job as an Ivy League professor to write a novel and Hallie is, of course, employed to revamp the gardens on his estate at the same time — which turns into this romantic comedy of errors as she swoons all over him, he doesn’t (!) remember her but is drawn to her anyway, and she thinks the best way to cope with this situation is by leaving a drunken secret admirer letter for him. All I can say is: if you love opposite-attracts energy, especially when the guy is a misunderstood grump with a heart of gold and the gal is a ray of sunshine who teeters close to the manicpixiegirl trope while still feeling genuine, then this book is probably for you. It’s certainly not breaking any new ground but it’s sweet, wholesome yet surprisingly steamy at times, and fun. 


with love,