contemporary romance

REVIEW: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

When Andie’s dad is caught up in a political scandal, all her summer plans are thrown into chaos. No more summer internship, instead she finds herself with a summer job as a dog walker. She’s not used to not having everything planned out but having everything be unexpected for once could mean a chance for love and new experiences.

The Unexpected Everything is a delightful book. At over 500 pages I was worried it would take me a while to read but in the end, I read it in just one day. I got pulled in by Andie’s story and all her friends, and by the fact there was so many dogs. Honestly if you like dogs, this book is for you as its not only the characters that are interesting and a lot of fun but the many dogs Andie ends up walking are too.

Andie is the kind of character that normally would rub me up the wrong way as she’s often quite selfish and likes everyone and everything to fit in her own plans, but much of the story is about her growing as a person and seeing how she is seen by other people. Andie doesn’t like letting people get close to her or even tell people she’s in a relationship with anything of real substance about herself – this all comes to ahead when she meets Clark. The romance between Andie and dog owner Clark is sweet and has your usual lack of communication confusion but the story has a lot of charm and Andie and Clark both have their flaws and still compliment each other that I was rooting for them.

I really liked Andie’s friendship group, their summer adventures and how The Unexpected Everything showed that some relationships can be quite overwhelming and we all need are space from those we care about. I also really liked how Andie’s relationship with her dad was so believable, they’d not had anything to do with each other for so long so suddenly being around each other led to an interesting dynamic.

The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer read. It’s fun, has moments of humour and lots of characters you want to be happy. 5/5.

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REVIEW: The Doris Day Vintage Film Club by Fiona Harper

FullSizeRender (9)Thanks to her grandmother, Claire Bixby grew up watching Doris Day films and fell in love with the world on the screen – the sunny, colourful world where happy endings always happen. But Claire’s been lacking any romance in her life for quite a while. That is until Nic comes into her travel agency looking to book the perfect holiday. Pity it’s for two! But as Nic and Claire get closer and the sparks start to fly, Claire begins to question everything Doris taught her about romance.

Claire’s a pretty relatable character and even though she still believes in happily ever after’s, she’s not naïve and she’s willing to work for what she wants. Nic is a bit frustrating at times. It’s been ages since I’ve read a romance novel where it’s the man who is the source of the miscommunication and keeps digging himself a hole. So often it’s the woman who keeps making mistakes but this time it’s Nic that doesn’t seem to know when to stop talking.

The Doris Day Vintage Film Club is a sweet read with some lovely friendships between women. Really it’s these friendships that are the highlight of the book. Those who attend the Doris Day Vintage Film Club are all ages and from all backgrounds so you wouldn’t normally expect to see them together. It’s nice to see women become friends over a mutual passion and who like to help each other out.

The Doris Day Vintage Film Club is a nice story. There’s nothing too memorable about it but it’s still a sweet read with nice characters and it manages to not be too predictable. And if one thing is for certain, The Doris Day Vintage Film Club has made me want to watch Doris Day’s filmography. 3/5.

REVIEW: When We Collided by Emery Lord

FullSizeRender (7)Seventeen-year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, all his life, and the only thing that changed was his father is no longer alive. Along with his two older siblings he must now take responsibility for his family. Enter new girl Vivi, the next big change in his life. Vivi loves life, she’s gorgeous and funny and she transform’s Jonah’s family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide.

When We Collided is a fast-paced contemporary YA novel with some larger than life characters. Vivi fills up every moment with as much fun as she can give it. She loves with all her heart and immediately feels a connection to Jonah and his family. Jonah is quieter as he has to look after his younger siblings as well as hiding the fact that his mother isn’t really coping with her husband’s death. Jonah’s family feels like a very real and relatable family, they are all dealing with grief in different ways and sometimes they clash over it but that doesn’t mean they love each other any less.

The main problem I had with When We Collided was with Vivi. She was almost obnoxiously happy and it was really grating and annoying to read. She would want to do crazy thing with Jonah and his family and didn’t always seem to grasp that he has a lot more responsibilities than her and while he obviously needed time to himself or to have fun sometimes, she seemed to want him to be as happy as she was. As the story progresses you find why Vivi is that way and while I did have some sympathy for her I didn’t find myself empathising with her.

So because I wasn’t a fan of Vivi, I didn’t really like her and Jonah’s romance. It felt very rushed and was almost all-consuming for both of them. They clearly both have problems and aren’t 100% themselves so while they do help each other to extent, they are really not right for each other in that moment. Vivi is frequently controlling and jealous and while Jonah has his moments of suggesting how Vivi should act, he instantly gives in to Vivi’s wishes all the time.

The setting of When We Collided is pretty great as Verona Cove is a beautiful seaside town so there’s long walks on the beach, a lot of sun and beach parties. The town is almost a secondary character and so is food. Seriously there’s a lot of talk of food in When We Collided, mainly because Jonah wants to be a chef and works at his dad’s restaurant and the way food is described is almost mouth-watering.

When We Collided has the perfect summer setting and at its heart has broken characters that may help each other but somethings aren’t so easy to fix. It’s a nice book, a quick read but not that memorable. 3/5.

REVIEW: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

FullSizeRender (69)Lucy has liked Cole ever since she first met him but unfortunately she never said anything and he’s been dating her best friend Ellie for years. On Prom night, Ellie is sick so Lucy says she’ll do the BFF thing and go with Cole. Things unravel when at the after party she and Cole kiss and the picture ends up on her Facebook. And not just that picture, but loads of pictures from that night of her classmates doing stupid things, being drunk, kissing people they shouldn’t end up on her Facebook. Lucy has no idea how it happened but now her best friend hates her and she’s public enemy number one at school.

#scandal is a great look at how we and especially young people use social media, it also looks at bulling and the different kinds of bullying and how it affects people even when they try their hardest not to let it. I did love the bit with the principal talked about how on her Facebook everyone’s constantly posting photos and videos of their babies and children doing things – I can certainly relate to that.

Lucy is a bit of a frustrating character as she doesn’t seem to realise the gravity of the situation that someone has put her in. Also she doesn’t trust easily (something which I can understand) but when the vast majority of the school population hates you and there’s just a few people who are standing by you then you’ve got to have a little faith in them.

The relationship between Cole, Ellie and Lucy is frustrating at times because while Lucy has a lot of problems going on due to the photos on Facebook, the drama between her, her best friend and her best friend’s boyfriend could have been sorted out so quick and easily if they’d just communicate. Each of them had the moments where they could tell the truth and explain how they felt but they all kept messing it up. Miscommunication is one of my biggest pet peeves in novels and in life.

#scandal is a very fast-paced and quick read that’s got a fair few surprises (some I figured out and some I didn’t). There’s humour, romance, drama, some relatable characters and some annoying ones and it’s a very typical high school book with all the tropes you’d expect but they’re not boring. 4/5.