Book Review: The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

308 pages

Published 3/24/20 by Gallery Books

ISBN: 9781982123918

Genre: Romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

B&N | Amazon

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the early digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

Review:

Trigger warnings: Cheating

I enjoyed this one more than their previous book, but I don’t think I would have finished it if not for the audiobook. 


This one is told in two different perspectives, James McCann and Carey Douglas. They work for Rusty and Melissa Tripp, the Chip and Joanna Gaines of this world. Carey has worked for the Tripps for ten years, specifically Melissa, helping them build an empire. James recently started working for Chip, but it wasn’t the job he expected it to be—it was worse. It definitely wasn’t a structural engineer, which is what he was hired as. Their new television show and book is about to be released, so they all go on tour together. The only reason James and Carey go is to keep Rusty and Melissa from killing each other. They need to keep their perfect reputation. 


This one is pretty slow-going. I didn’t really care for any of the characters except for James. He is such a wonderful man, and he takes such good care of Carey. Because of him, the (very few) sex scenes are consensual. If you want rough and dirty, this won’t be for you.


Carey is just another basic character to me. She’s not memorable at all. I don’t have a lot to say about her.


Rusty and Melissa constantly get on my nerves. I didn’t want to hear about them because all they did is fight. I didn’t like their morals, and why they were staying together. Rusty is also extremely insulting at the end. I just wasn’t a fan. That’s one of the main reasons why this is a three-star book for me.


If you want something easy to read, then this would be something you could pick up. This isn’t the best Christina Lauren, but it’s still cute and somewhat fun. Even though I keep giving their books three-stars they’ll forever be an auto-read duo. I’m hoping the next one is better. 


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April 2020 TBR!

I decided to pick two NetGalley books, two books I own, and two library books to read for the month of April. I’m trying to stick to my TBRs, and I hope that having this many options will help create the variety I need.

P.S.: Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the early digital copies that I have included.


NetGalley:

The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

Goodreads blurb:

In a funny, insightful, and life-affirming debut, Brooke Fossey delivers an unflinching look at growing old, living large, and loving big, as told by a wise-cracking man who didn’t see any of it coming.

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Goodreads blurb:

Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.

Physical:

Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

Goodreads blurb:

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you’re Murderbot.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Goodreads blurb:

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.

*My plan is to just continue on with this one. I don’t think I’ll finish it this month.

Library:

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Goodreads blurb:

You probably know someone like Shay Miller. You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters. Shay thinks she wants their life. But what they really want is hers.

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Goodreads blurb:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.


If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading!

My Most Anticipated 2020 Releases

Hello! These are not in any particular order. There are also a ton of other books I’m excited for, but these are mostly books by authors I have read other books from—except for Kate Elizabeth Russell. These are authors I look for every year to see if they’re releasing anything new. I’m very patiently waiting for Celeste Ng to write another one.


The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Publication date: 3/24

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Publication date: 4/21

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Publication date: 3/10

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

Publication date: 1/7

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Publication date: 5/5

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Publication date: 7/7

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Publication date: 4/28

Cut to the Bone by Ellison Cooper

Publication Date: 7/14

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Publication date: 3/10

Credence by Penelope Douglas

Publication date: 1/14

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Publication date: 3/24

A friend told me that Taylor Jenkins Reid has another one coming out, but Goodreads doesn’t have a release date for it. That’s why I didn’t include it. It’s called Malibu Burning if you wanted to go add it to your TBR.


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Blogmas Day 16: Favorite Authors

Happy BLOGMAS Day 16!

I never talk about who my favorite authors are. I don’t know if you have to read so many books from a certain author to consider it a favorite, but I don’t really want to follow the rules. These are the authors I have read book(s) from and loved. I will also link the Goodreads page to the book(s) that made me love these authors.

P.S: I apologize these posts have been so simple. I definitely expected more out of myself, but my internet has been out and I’ve been working. I get them written/scheduled when and if I can. I hope you all understand. There are 15 more posts to come, so I hope you all stay excited!

William Kent Krueger

This Tender Land

Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Evidence of the Affair

Christina Lauren

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

The Unhoneymooners

Claire Lombardo

The Most Fun We Ever Had

Rachel Kadish

The Weight of Ink

Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere

Riley Sager

Lock Every Door

Final Girls

Paula McLain

Love and Ruin

Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

The Sea Prayer

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Honorable Mentions

A.S. King

Everybody Sees the Ants

Dig

Catherine Chung

The Tenth Muse

Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

The Fellowship of the Ring

Alex Dahl

The Boy at the Door


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BONUS POST – Book Review: Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

368 pages

ISBN: 9781501197420

Published: 10/22/19 by Gallery Books

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★★★✩✩

Thank you to Gallery Books for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

Review:

Some people rise to the top on their own merit, and some people get there by stepping on heads.

Marco Offredi

I have decided to make a change to the new block editor. The formatting of my usual posts may change. I’m just letting everyone know as to why this book review looks different compared to other ones.

I also hate posting two blogs posts in one day, but I really needed to get this review up. I finished the book almost a week ago.

I am going to preface this review by saying that I absolutely adore Christina Lauren. This book makes my fourth one by them, and I’m still going to continue reading them. They’re always fun and fast-paced books!

Story | I absolutely loved the beginning of this one. You find out how Tate meets Sam, and you learn about her family’s background. The reader witnesses Tate’s struggle to open up due to the pressure from her Nana, Judith Houriet. You see this young love blossom over the course of a few weeks, just to watch him drop her after telling her to jump.

The story isn’t super exciting after that. She is filming a movie, Milkweed, with her father, which is odd and Sam just so happens to be the screenwriter of said movie. It shakes up her world after she meets Nick Tyler, another actor who shows an interest in Tate. Nick is the other main role in the movie.

This is where I start to have some thoughts about this book. I’m sure everyone knows how this book ends, but for those who don’t, I’m not going to spoil anything. All I will say is: what’s the point of Nick?

I had to snag the audio for this one to read along with because I was just bored. I didn’t have an interest in any of the characters after chapter 10. It’s unfortunate, but I’m looking forward to their next one, The Honey-Don’t List.

I will also say that there isn’t much smut in this, not that there is with Christina Lauren. If you’re going into this expecting that, then I would walk away. Or go into it with different expectations.

Writing | The writing isn’t really any different from the rest of their books. It’s really easy to fly through. I don’t find it super cheesy like I do most romance novels. It’s cheesy, but it’s more of a provolone rather than Swiss. I love cheese so whenever I can pop those references in there the better my life is. 

Characters | This is a book where I don’t have a favorite character. I was honestly more interested in Charlie, Tate’s best friend/makeup artist. I found her more interesting than Tate. I also wanted more of my boo, Marco Offredi, Tate’s PR manager.

Overall | I didn’t enjoy this one very much. It was slow, and I didn’t like the celebrity trope. Those are usually hit or miss for me, anyway. I just think it focused too hard on the exploitation of her history. I wanted more romance! *pounds my fist on the table*

I’m still going to continue on with Christina Lauren’s books. This does not change my mind about the authors. It just didn’t work for me, but I’m sure it’ll work for others. 


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July 2019 Reading Wrap Up!

Hello, friends! I have a pretty decent July wrap up for ya. I haven’t had much time to do anything lately. July was basically a miracle. I’ve been in a bit of a life rut as well, and I’ve mentally clocked out. I hope I can get back on track and make August another good reading month. I get to take a week off work at the end of the month, so fingers crossed I get a lot done then. Alright, continue to the wrap up! ↓

Total Books Read: 17

Total Pages Read: ~4,566 (page count according to Goodreads.)

ARC: The Last Book Partyby Karen Dukess – ⭐⭐⭐

ARC: Buried (Agent Sayer Altair #2)by Ellison Cooper – ⭐⭐⭐

ARC: A Divided Mindby M. Billiter – ⭐⭐⭐

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ARC: The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ARC: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang – ⭐⭐⭐

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Animal Farm by George Orwell – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

And Every Morning the Walk Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne – ⭐⭐⭐

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong – ⭐⭐

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ *RTC

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

– Have you read any of these? Thoughts? Let me know down in the comments. –


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The Reading Rush Wrap Up! (7/22-7/28)

Hello, friends!

The Reading Rush (formally known as the Booktubeathon) is over, and I am definitely coming down from the high. It was so much fun, and as far as readathons go, this was the best I have ever done. I ended up completing all of the challenges! I found a new favorite book, and I found one that I really wasn’t fond of.

If you do not know, The Reading Rush is hosted by Ariel Bissett and Raeleen Lemay. Here is the link to the YouTube video they put out about the challenges. They even have a website now where you can receive badges and make new friends! I recommend everyone participate next time.

I finished 7 books, 1616 pages, and received 13/15 badges. The only two I didn’t get were the “make a Reading Rush booktube video” badge, and “go to a read-in” badge. I’d say that’s pretty successful!

– I will link any reviews I have to each book –

Challenges:

Read a book with purple on the cover: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read  a book with a non-human main character: Animal Farm by George Orwell. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read and watch a book to movie adaptation: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne ⭐⭐

Read a book you meant to read last year: Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read a book in the same spot the entire time: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read a book with 5+ words in the title: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. ⭐⭐

Read an author’s debut novel: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you participated, how many books did you read? Did you have fun? Did you find a new favorite book!?


If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading! 

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April 2019 Reading Wrap Up!

I read seven books cover to cover this month, and I finished up one that I started in March. Three of them were e-galleys from NetGalley (Thank you publishers) and the rest were library books. I am currently in the middle of four other books. I thought that this month was quite successful in quantity and quality!

Finished

E-galleys:

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 The Porpoise by Mark Haddon ⭐⭐

The Farm by Joanne Ramos ⭐⭐⭐

Library Books:

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel ⭐⭐⭐⭐

All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Currently Reading

E-galleys:

Buried (Agent Sayer Altair #2) by Ellison Cooper

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames

Library Books:

Exit Strategy (Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of the Columbine Tragedy by Sue Klebold


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Book Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Publication Date: May 14, 2019 by Gallery Books

ISBN: 9781501128035

432 pages

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Thank you to Gallery Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

imageedit_1_9869929391Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

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I cannot and will not stop reading romance for as long as I live. It has quickly become one of my favorite genres to read. It’s hard for me to pick up anything else. When I got accepted to read this on Netgalley I almost cried. I have been seeing so many rave reviews, and it had such good ratings. I downloaded it and read it immediately!

Olive and Ethan are obviously in a hate to love relationship. They bond over their free fake honeymoon that Olive’s sister, Ami, was supposed to take with her new husband, Dane *barf.* I’m so happy that this exists. It’s a book that I would read whether I was into romance novels or not. The synopsis is just perfect.

I honestly relate to Olive in the sense that we have the worst luck. It’s not enough to ruin your life, but it’s enough to make you go crazy. This book entered my life at the perfect time. It gave me a fictional character to connect with. I thought that the job she wanted was actually quite interesting, but not worth it when your boss is a total jerk. I felt bad for her toward the end of the book.

Ethan is almost my fictional true love, but Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings pushes him into second place. Pike from Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas is my third true love. Anyway, Ethan is just a trooper, but also very annoying sometimes. I don’t want to spoil, but he believes his dumb brother about something specific, and I wanted to SCREAM the entire time. He does help Olive along the way, and she helps him. He does hurt her a couple of times, but he makes up for it. I feel like his character could have gone two different ways, and I am happy with how they developed him.

The writing of this novel was pretty good. It was actually quite basic, but I thought it was really witty. I actually laughed out loud quite a few times. It takes a lot to get me to feel actual physical emotion while reading a novel. I tried hard not to show it while I was in the break room at work. The moral of the story is: DON’T LIE. It’s just not worth it. Thank you, and goodnight.

My only gripe is that is probably too long for what it is. There is some unnecessary drama that was supposed to keep the story going. It felt like they could have went about it a different way. I still really enjoyed it though, and it’s definitely a page turner.

I highly recommend it, and I will definitely buy it when it comes out. The cover is beautiful.


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