Review: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

Review: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

arranged

★★★★.5/5 | Goodreads


Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she’s engaged, Anne can’t help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn’t a dating service; it’s an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it — and the company’s success rate — the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn’t it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out — until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.


I got into another reading slump post Shadow and Bone. I feel like that’s all I fall into, reading slumps. It’s really frustrating, because now that I’m done with school, I thought I would have more time to read all those books that are sitting on my shelves since forever. But I just couldn’t find another book to read and I felt like there’s nothing interesting coming out. I searched Goodreads for a couple of days, I went to bookstores searching around in vain. So, when in doubt, I thought it could be a good idea to reread one of my favorite books of all time. I went into my list on Goodreads and decided to reread Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. I wanted to be sure that was it was going to be a book I could count on to remind me why I love reading and a book that I knew the plot and characters were awesome. I had reread this book a couple of years ago and thought it couldn’t hurt to reread it a third time 😂.

I always enjoyed Catherine McKenzie’s books and even more because she’s from the same town as me and that we share the same name. I had met her once at a book signing and she was very nice 😁. Recently, I’m not as excited as before for her newer books, because they’re more on the thriller/mystery side and I’m not as invested in that genre that her previous books. But her first two books definitely marked me as a reader and they are in my list of all-time favorites.

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Review: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Review: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

queen-of-hearts

★★★.3/5 | Goodreads


Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.


This title card was probably the hardest to make because I just wanted to add so much but the book cover was already beautiful as it was. So after basically an hour of playing around – adding and removing stuff – I just resigned myself and opted to leave it as it was, lol. This is probably one of the most aesthetic cover I’ve ever seen, I’m kind of bummed I have the Ebook and not the physical copy to display it on my shelf.

Anyways, yay for book #4 of the year! My goal of reading 1 book this year has been surpassed by 400%, which is ah-ma-zing 😂. I’m attributing this to procrastination, though, so I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a good thing or not 🤷‍♀️. Like I mentioned in my last post, I heard about this book through a BookTuber and what really attracted me was the medical aspect of the plot. I’m not a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, which is a shocker because I feel like everyone in my class is insanely obsessed with that show. I don’t like that show because of its over-the-top drama and unrealistic plots and portrayal of the medical field. So, I was hoping that this book was not going to be basically an episode of Grey’s on paper. I’m happy to say that this wasn’t a hit and miss and that I really enjoyed it!

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Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

thelightwelost

★★★★★/5 | Goodreads


Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.


It’s been a while since a love story made me feel so many feelings. I went from all the ranges of happy to sad over the chapters. I flew through this one. It was so good! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because the reviews were either they loved it or completely hated it. But I’m very happy to have trusted my instincts and picked it up because it’s the kind of book that stays with you after the last lines. The last time I had that feeling, I think it was when I read Karma Brown’s The Choices We Make. When the author said that what inspired her initially for this book was her own breakup from a long and stable relationship, it definitely made sense. You could see the heartbreak through her writing and that made everything more genuine and relatable.

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Review: The Choices We Make by Karma Brown

Review: The Choices We Make by Karma Brown

thechoiceswemake

★★★★★/5 | Goodreads

Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate’s skirt with a mirror. While they’ve been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can’t help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls.

She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah’s heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it’s Kate’s turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah’s surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so.

Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of two mothers, one incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true.

To continue on my adult fiction rampage, I decided to read this book. I had fallen on this title very randomly while I was browsing on the website where I order my books. Not gonna lie, the book cover looked like the ones from Catherine Mackenzie and that’s what caught my eye first.

I expected to like it but I did not expect to absolutely love it and feel completely heartbroken at the end 😭.

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Review: The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany & J. K. Rowling

Review: The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany & J. K. Rowling

cursedchild

★★★★★/5 | Goodreads

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

This script is basically everything I wanted it to be. It gave me so many feelings. I was nervous because there were so many mixed reviews and I even saw hardcore HP fans not like this play. But I was really excited to get my hands on this book nonetheless.

One scene in and I was already tearing up. Welp.

Just a warning, if you haven’t read The Cursed Child yet and plan to, there might be spoilers in this review. I try to avoid putting anything that could reveal a plotline but I might’ve slipped one without realizing. 

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Review: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Review: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

brooklyn

★★★★★/5 | Goodreads

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

Guys. I just found one of my favourite book and movie of the year!

I decided to watch the movie Brooklyn on a whim. I just came home from work and it was airing on TV. I had heard a lot of good reviews about it but I had no idea of what the plot was, so I was going in completely blind. I was blown away. I think I pretty much cried about 4 times (if not more) while watching it – it was brilliant!

Obviously when I learned that it was adapted from a novel, I quickly bought the Ebook (because I wanted to have it as soon as possible) so I could read the whole story and I pretty much flew through it. I got so immersed in the story that I even read from my phone while I was at work (don’t do that, kids) 🙊.

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Review: First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Review: First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

firstcomeslove copy.png

★★★★.5/5 | Goodreads

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

One book down from my summer TBR! 🎉

As I have mentioned before, I love Emily Giffin. Her book Something Borrowed is one of my all-time favorites and I have been a loyal and avid reader ever since I discovered her. So it’s kind of hard for me to say that her 7th novel, The One & Only, was a complete disaster. When I finished the book, I was kind of in shock about how bad it was. There were so many problematics in that novel, I vaguely remember the storyline. I just remember that the protagonist ends up with the father of her best friend (who is a widow) and that threw me completely off. And there was too much football. No one wants that in a chick-lit.

So needless to say that I was really uncertain about how First Comes Love was going to go. The synopsis seemed already better than TO&O, it sounded more like what I was used to in Giffin’s novels; a story about love, sisterhood, family and forgiveness. Once I started it, I absolutely flew through the pages. It was such a easy read filled with a great story. A typical amazing Emily Giffin novel 😁, exactly how I love them.

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