Category: Reviews

Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Posted August 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart
Director: Susan Johnson
Release Date: 17 August 2018
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1:39
Movie Type: Drama, Romance

Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.

Brenna and I have been super anxious for this movie to come out and once the clock hit midnight last night, we were prepared to watch it together. We both read the books (all of them) a couple of weeks ago and have been big ol’ nerds about all things Peter Kavinsky and this movie.

The movie is quite a bit different from the book but both Brenna and I really enjoyed it. The casting is pretty spot on and we adored all things Peter Kavinsky. Lara Jean and the rest of the Song sisters were extra fabulous and Papa John Corbett was pretty great too. And Josh!!! Oh man, we loved Josh! There’s much to enjoy and love about this movie. I thought Netflix did a fabulous job of bringing Peter and Lara Jean’s story to life. I loved seeing how far they came from beginning to end. Seeing them go from faking dating to real feelings was so much fun.

The book was super sweet and funny and all things that I love in a book and the movie was great but there were things missing from the movie that were my favorite parts of the book. Also, some of my favorite things that happened in the book were changed in the movie and that really bummed me out. I would start mentioning what those things are but I don’t want to spoil the movie too much so just know that the book and the movie are different but the movie did capture the charm and the heart of the book and they definitely got the characters right. Lana Condor was an outstanding Lara Jean and Noah Centineo was a perfect Peter Kavinsky.

The movie has only been out for a handful of hours and I’ve already watched it twice. It was an enjoyable teen rom com, wayyyy better than The Kissing Booth and with that ending, THERE BETTER BE A SECOND MOVIE!!!

Movie Trailer

My Rating

Grade: 4.25 out of 5


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Throwback Thursday: Gone too Far by Suzanne Brockmann

Posted August 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: Gone too Far by Suzanne BrockmannGone too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
Series: Troubleshooters #6
Published by Random House, Ballantine on March 2, 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Point of View: Third Person
Pages: 536
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars

In her sizzling, award-winning novels of suspense, bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann delves into the adrenaline-rushed world of counter terrorism–and taps into the real passions of its brave men and women. Now in her widely anticipated hardcover debut, she spins a story of action, intrigue, and romance, as a U.S. Navy SEAL and an FBI agent race to unravel a mystery–while confronting their own unresolved feelings for each other. . . .

In his career as one of America’s elite warriors, Lt. Sam Starrett can do no wrong. In his private life, Sam–the king of one night stands–has done little right. Now, he’s waiting for a divorce and determined to stay active in his young daughter’s life. But when Sam shows up at the door of his ex-wife’s home in Sarasota, Florida, he makes a grisly discovery. His daughter is gone and the body of a woman lies brutally murdered on the floor.

FBI agent Alyssa Locke’s relationship with Sam has been overwhelmingly intense and nearly catastrophic, yet it refuses to end. The last time she saw Sam was six months earlier, when they worked together to stop terrorists from assassinating the U.S. President. Much to her dismay, Alyssa is assigned to lead the murder investigation and once again the two are face to face. When explosive information surfaces linking Sam to the still unsolved assassination plot, the stakes are raised. With her reputation hanging in the balance, and her loyalties in question, Alyssa is faced with an impossible dilemma:arrest a man she believes to be innocent, or risk her career.

While Alyssa tries to fight their intense attraction, Sam is determined to heat things up between them once again. And the complex case pushes them both to the wrong side of the law–and on the run to discover the truth. As more agents step into the chase, and with Sam’s daughter still unaccounted for, neither Alyssa nor Sam can predict just how deadly hot this situation is about to become. . . .

A thrilling novel that ranges back into the days of World War II, into friendships, families, liaisons, betrayals, and the code of honor that binds the U.S. Navy SEALs, Gone Too Far is an electrifying experience in suspense–and a brilliant tale of lives lived on the edge.

From the Hardcover edition.

It’s been a long ass time since I’ve read this book and when I think back to how obsessed I used to be over the entire Troubleshooters world and with Sam Starrett in particular, I laugh because it was low key embarrassing. Not that I regret my obsession because Suz Brockmann is a legit author who wrote a fantastic romantic suspense series with characters that to this day, I’m still mad over and Sam Starrett is still one of my top ten favorite heroes of all time and I still don’t care what my friend Holly says about that. And him. Haha.

Re-reading this book was like reading it for the first time because so much of what happened, I didn’t remember. That didn’t stop me from jumping right into the magic that is Sam and Alyssa though. There’s a lot going on in this book and in true Suz Brockmann fashion, she handles it all extremely well. I read the entire thing and was invested in what was happening with everything and everyone. I was taken right back to being scared that the person Sam finds when he shows up at Mary Lou’s house was her, worried about what happened with his daughter and happy when Alyssa shows up and the connection between her and Sam opens up again.

There’s a lot of fast-paced action going on in this book, with Sam and Alyssa trying to get answers and Sam trying to find his daughter, Haley and ex-wife Mary Lou. Throughout the Troubleshooters series, Sam and Alyssa have circled each other and when wrenches were thrown into the mix, they part and try to move on. Alyssa is not happy that Sam Starrett refuses to stay out of her life but I really enjoyed their interactions with each other. I loved seeing them learn about what made them the people that they are now. They both have dark pasts that they overcame and I loved seeing them come to care and accept each other for who they are now and not who they were before.

One of the things that I remember the most about this series is how Brockmann would tell many stories that bring the main story together and that wasn’t any different in this book. I enjoyed seeing Mary Lou use the smarts that she learned from Sam to keep her and Haley safe. I enjoyed the romance between Sam and Alyssa and I just really enjoyed the whole thing. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense novels and military romances then you should definitely give this book a go. It’s good stuff and though Sam Starrett can be hard to take at times, I promise he’s such a compelling and charming character that you won’t help but fall for. Alyssa is his perfect match and this story brings them together in such a great way that I was completely satisfied with the ending. So, so good.

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Troubleshooters Series

four-stars


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Review: The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen

Posted August 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Accidentals by Sarina BowenThe Accidentals by Sarina Bowen
Published by Indie Published, Tuxbury Publishing LLC on July 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.

Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.


There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

Sarina Bowen has been a staple on my go to authors for great contemporary romances as well as New Adult romances. Now she’s trying her hand at Young Adult stories and The Accidentals is her first shot out of that particular gate. I’m happy to report that Sarina Bowen continues to shine in whatever writing endeavor she undertakes because I really enjoyed The Accidentals.

Rachel’s father in one of the most popular country singers in the country and she knows every single song he’s ever released, she knows so many little tidbits about him but she’s never met him in real life until her mother dies and she is given over to his care. After years and years from watching her father from afar, she’s thrown into his world while she is grieving her dead mother and she’s floundering. The only thing holding her above water is her acceptance letter to the private school that her mother attended when she was her age. She has been looking forward to going to this school for years and now that she’s finally able to go, she’s hoping for a fresh start that will help her move on from the hurt and the awkwardness of getting to know the one person that should have been in your life the whole time.

This book is told in first person, from Rachel’s perspective and being inside her head wasn’t always easy. She’s going through some really personal things and my heart hurt for her at every turn in the beginning.

There was a lot to like in this book. Seeing Rachel grow into who she was meant to be was pretty great and seeing her find her way in a new place, surrounded by new people both at school and at home was neat too because it really showed how resilient she was. She wasn’t perfect in that I did find myself frustrated with her from time to time but in the end, when it mattered, I really liked her character and who she was.

Sarina Bowen introduced us to a great cast of characters that really made this story pop just that much more. From Haze to Jake to Henry and just everyone that we meet in this book brought something to the story and I was glad to have met them all. There was an interesting mix of characters and that was cool.

As an L.A. native who lives so very close to Manhattan Beach, it was great to see a setting so close to home and picture everything so perfectly in my mind. Sarina Bowen’s efforts with this one really paid off because I enjoyed this one from beginning to end. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

four-stars


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