Maybe in Another Life

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“And I was reading about different theories about the universe. I was really taken with this one theory that states that everything that is possible happens. That means that when you flip a quarter, it doesn’t come down head or tails. It comes up heads and tails. Every time you flip a coin and it comes up heads, you merely in the universe where the coin came up heads. There is another version of you out there, created the second the quarter flipped, who saw it come up tails. This is happening every second of every day. The world is splitting further and further into an infinite number of parallel universes where everything that could happen is happening. This is completely plausible, by the way. It’s a legitimate interpretation of quantum mechanics. It’s entirely possible that every time we make a decision, there is a version of us out there somewhere who made a different choice. An infinite number of versions of ourselves are living out the consequences of every single possibility in our lives. What I’m getting at here is that I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices that led me somewhere else, led me to someone else.”

Wow, was all I could say after I finished this book in one sitting. And Wow, will forever be the first word out of my mouth when explaining it to someone who wants to know about it. I wish I knew about this book before but I’m glad I didn’t, because I get to love it now.

Hannah Martin is leading the kind of life that is well, a mess. She has lived in six different cities never being able to call one home. Her family has lived in England with her sister so the only family she truly knows is Gabby’s. Enter Gabby, Hannah’s best friend. She had lived with Gabby upon her family’s departure and they’ve always managed to stay the very best of friends. While Hannah seems to be going through a whirlwind of a breakup she decides going back to her hometown Los Angeles is what she needs. Gabby and her husband Mark would never let Hannah stay any place else but their own. To celebrate Hannah’s first night back in town, they head out to a bar where Hannah runs into her high school boyfriend Ethan. After a full night of catching up Gabby decides she’s ready to go. Does Hannah stay with Ethan? Or does she want to stick to her new idea of becoming a new person, one who takes things more slowly. Well, maybe both happens….

This story is jumps from one Hannah to the next. What??? Yes, you heard me. A take on the decision where Hannah decides to stay with Ethan and the other where she decides, ‘not tonight’. A story challenging our every move and the domino affect of these decisions we make by the minute. Do we all truly only have one soulmate? How much of life and love is fate, and how much is by chance?

“But I wonder how different my world would be if any of those things had happened. you can’t change just one part, can you? When you sit there an wish things had happened differently, you can’t just wish away the bad stuff. You have to think about all the good stuff you might lose, too. Better just to stay in the now and focus on what you can do better in the future.”

When I read books that have a love triangle, or multi-love loop I tend to choose sides. It’s really only natural for me. We are given two different universes to work with. I found myself rooting for one life, but I certainly favored one of Hannah’s universes more than the other. Did anyone else feel this happening too?

As we step back and look at our lives we always find ourselves asking questions. ‘What if I had chosen this instead of that. I wish I could go back and change this. If only this didn’t happen, that would have been perfect‘. We waste our lives away wondering what could have or what can be. The message in this book is to focus on the now at all times. What could’ve happened maybe did happen in another life. What is still to come might happen 10 different ways. But the only one that actually matters to the universe we inhabit now is what we do this very moment.

“It doesn’t matter if we don’t mean to do the things we do. It doesn’t matter if it was an accident or a mistake. It doesn’t even matter if we think this is all up to fate. Because regardless of our destiny, we still have to answer for our actions. We make choices, big and small, every day of our lives, and those choices and consequences. We have to face those consequences head-on, for better or worse. We don’t get to erase them just by saying we didn’t mean to. Fate or not, our lives are still the results of our choices. I’m starting to think that when we don’t own them, we don’t own ourselves.”

I recommend this story for anyone who has interest in multi-universes. For the ones who seek adventure, and uniqueness. Anyone who believes that we exist in every possible decision we’ve ever had to make. Did you love Dark Matter by Blake Crouch? This book it for you. The ideas are similar, but they both leave you with the same feelings. If you thrive off great love stories.. like People magazine said, “It’s not a spoiler to say: love wins.” And it does. Happy endings, no matter the universe!

Advertisements

Synthetic Love

Author: Christina Hart

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“And this is the problem. All of this. With people. With real, living, breathing people. They will never understand you. Could never understand you. Most won’t take the time to try. Most will throw you away before they even have a chance to get to any of the layers underneath. I think I have layers. Maybe not. Maybe people aren’t as fucked up as I am. Maybe they all are. Maybe everyone thinks of themselves the same way I do. Maybe we all sit home alone at night sometimes wondering if anyone out there could ever really love us. Maybe all of us have night terror and nightmares and fucking dread the future sometimes because after enough time, it all looks dim. If the past is any sort of foreshadowing for the future, I’m skeptical that things will ever get better. And how can they? How can they if we don’t let them? How can they if we don’t try? Fuck. I think I try. I want to try.”

Alan is your average man addicted to sex. Wait, what? You heard me correctly. When we first meet Alan, first impressions take over. “A douchebag who’s addicted to sex. Let’s see how this asshole treats women.” We come to a screeching hault in our thought process once we finally get to know Alan. This story is told through Now and Then perspectives. We start off with today’s Alan and we learn that we are ALL extremely judgmental when it comes to first impressions. As we enter the first Then, our views start to shift. We tend to forget that people are a certain way, why? Usually because they have a past that made them this way. What made Alan this way?

My heart ached so many times for Alan, reading this story. Each and every page wanting to take his hand and show him what a good life could be like. The experiences Alan has had to face from such a young age, only stay with him throughout his entire life. There are obvious quirks to him but why? Can that ever be changed? Alan struggles in his present because of his past. Can he make peace with those everlasting ghosts, or is his fate what he fears most? Being alone.

All Alan wants is to love with his whole being and be loved the same way in return. It seems there is something always in the way trying to stop it. Be it small mistakes he continues to make, or even little miscommunications. Some women only want him for a night but he takes it. He’s never actually alone though and he realizes this. The biggest secret he’s held from every girl sits in his closet…

I think this book should be read by adults. We know circumstances are not always an excuse, but we need to understand why people are the way they are. Off the bat, we judge Alan off of one fact: he’s a sex addict. Why are we all so quick to judge when we want others to see us for who WE really are in return? This book helps to get on the path of erasing first impressions and judgements. I think many people can learn a thing or two from a book like this one.

The Foxe and the Hound

Author: R.S. Grey

Rating:

Review:

 

“The love between him and me isn’t right. Some would even say it’s unnatural…wrong. Al they see is his size, and it intimidates them. He is massive, too big for his own good, really, but he’s also handsome–so handsome–with chocolate brown eyes I can’t resist. I won’t sugarcoat it though–he’s not without his flaws. He’s a terrible listener, and frankly, independent to a fault. He’s a sloppy kisser, and he leaves his things everywhere. But every time I come home and run mu fingers through those luscious locks, I forget all of his faults. And when that hair falls out and gets all over the couch, and the bed, and my clothes, and the rug, I don’t fret. I always know I’m just one lint-roller away from everlasting love.

Because he’s the love of my life.

And he’s my dog.”

 

If the opening of this book doesn’t set up for a comedy than I’m not sure what does. This fast-paced book is jam packed with equal parts romance and humor. This will be my first R.S. Grey read and I will tell you what, I’m not disappointed. Quick background here: I started following R.S. Grey on Instagram after I saw she was friendly with Tarryn Fisher. Anyone who is friends with Taryn is someone I want to be friend with for obvious reasons. I always noticed she wrote books and I always told myself “You have to read her books!”. Well, after growing fond of R.S. Grey and the person she is I decided this book would be my first! The bar is certainly set high for her other reads now. I could not get enough of Madeline and Adam.

 

Madeline is your (now-a-days) average 20-something mess. Although Madeline a little older than my own 25 years I found her character extremely relatable. We meet her ‘puppy’ mouse as he is completely mauling a stranger. Madeline is mortified because it’s not just any stranger. It’s a beautiful man in what looks like a very expensive suit. That has to be the worst of it, right? No, no. Mouse has ruined this suit with dirt and mud and mother nature’s organics.

Adam is attractive. LOL. Okay, he’s out of this world gorgeous when it comes to his looks. His Chicago personality has stayed with him when he moved here to Texas though. He’s late for work and calls in his first patient of the day: Mouse. Yes, the same Mouse that ruined his (1 of many) suits this morning.

The story and Madeline and Adam progresses, ups and downs with laughter on every page. I found it almost impossible to close the book. Walking while reading (I swear I didn’t see that car), eating and reading, and even showering while reading were some of the side affects caused by this book.

 

I have to talk about R.S. Grey and her writing. Honestly out of all the romance books I’ve read, I’ve never read sex scenes like these. In books there are scenes where it’s hot, scenes where it’s gentle, scenes where you want to look away and erase it from your memory. R.S. Grey wrote these scenes phenomenally. She took her time with such class, romance and left her readers wanting more.

 

I recommend this book to my age group. Honestly, anyone would read this and enjoy it. I just feel the 20-something’s would feel as I have–we aren’t messes if we all feel we are. Take life as it comes and the surprises will come along with it.

 

Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately

Author: Alicia Cook

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

Her. Words.

Alicia literally takes you to the exact point in time she is talking about; giving us mental flashbacks if you will. She allows us to travel to the point in our lives where these things have happened to us and ultimately how alone we felt during it. Something to take away from this book? You’re not alone ever, no matter where your thoughts may travel. And maybe it’s because I find myself relating to so many of them but she truly is an exquisite writer..no, not just a writer; a creater. She takes the simple tasks in life that we all take for granted and turns them into so much more than what we allow them to be. It’s really something else.

Writers today (poets), they all utter the same thing in a 3-4 line poems. They all want to show this strength and utter beauty about being women. Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that but I think more of us need to understand we aren’t perfect beings and it’s okay. Our hair has days when it doesn’t cooperate. You’ll have days when trip over your own feet 5 times within 10 minutes. She show us it’s okay to have these weak moments. It’s okay to break down and cry over a lover because it’s going to happen. It’s okay to be who we are even if we don’t like ourselves in that moment of time. And it’s okay to be unapologetically YOU. Days you will feel powerful, days you’ll feel like shit. Days you need love and others where you want to be independent. She covers it all and it’s nothing short of inspiring.

There are tracks I read where I’m like…wow Alicia Cook is living in my head, I’m not the only one thank god! I believe it’s so, so important and not a very easy task to touch an audience the way she does. But she naiiiiiillllls it. Over and over! I’m a forever fan.

Before We Were Strangers

Author: Renée Carlino

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“You can’t re-create the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice. You chase it like the first high for the rest of your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t love another or move on; it just means that the one spontaneous moment, the split-second that you took the leap, when your heart was racing and your mind was muddled with What Ifs?–that moment–will never happen the same way again. It will never feel as intense as the first time. At least, that’s the way I remember it. That’s why my mother always said we memorialize our past. Everything seems better in a memory.”


Matt and Grace are two artistic souls, both studying at NYU– Matt photography and Grace cellist. This is where they meet, at the Senior House. Neighbors turned best friends turned lovers turned strangers. What went wrong and where?
Fast forward fifteen years where Matt is working for National Geographic. His head hangs low, almost lifeless. Where is the unhappiness rooted? It’s not when he’s drawn to the woman standing on the subway platform, it’s when she turns around when the doors close that he realizes who it is. The eye contact and sudden wave of emotions are enough to get his feet running towards the train. Will Matt and Grace ever have the chance for closure? Or is love truly the strongest force?

I first want to say that this book, this story of Matthias and Graceland is by far my favorite romance of 2017. Renée Carlino has an incredible way with words. Her writing is fluent and absorbs you instantly. It’s hard not to devour this story with such an urgency, wanting answers to the questions you’ll find yourself asking.


To pick a favorite character in this is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. In just 3 short sittings I became attached to so many characters. Matt’s personality, mannerisms, and his plain BEING are everything a woman seeks in a man while Grace’s elegance, soul, and moral are everything a woman should want to encompass.

To anyone who feels the one “got away”, anyone looking for hope they will come back to them, no matter the time or place..this book is for you. ♡

What Alice Forgot

Author: Liane Moriarty

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It’s light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But after three children, after a separation and a near-divorce, after you’ve hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you’ve seen the worst and the best– well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.”


Liane Moriarty has this certain way of carving out these nooks and crannies in my heart with each book she writes. The characters live there comfortably never to be forgotten. This is the kind of author Liane is.

Alice Love; twenty-nine years old and head over heels in love with her husband Nick. Alice is pregnant with her first child (the Sultana) and nothing in life could go wrong. At least until Alice comes to on a spin-style class floor. Confused as shit because well, Alice hates the gym. In the hospital Alice learns she is in fact thirty-nine years old with 3 children. But if that’s not the biggest shocker, this is. Her and her beloved Nick are getting divorced. As Alice tried to sort out the last ten years, she struggles with what is real, and what only feels like a dream. Does Alice every truly regain her memory of her new self? And is love really as strong as believed, where Alice and Nick can come back from the all hatred?

Ahhh, just as I sit here writing this review I already miss this story! This was such a different read in so many aspects. For me at least, I’ve never read a book  where someone has lost their memory. It certainly helps that Liane’s way of writing is extremely humorous and easy to read. Her characters are always detailed and all of her character relationships have an incredible foundation.

In choosing who my favorite characters are, I go for the ones that never leave my brain. Alllliiiiccce is that character in this book. Okay well, Alice AND Nick. I loved seeing twenty-nine year old Alice in thirty-nine year old Alice’s body. Throughout, catching glimpses of who thirty-nine Alice actually is. The character growth in each of the main characters was written superbly, plan and simple.

If I were to recommend this book to anyone it would be anyone who is a Laine Moriarty fan. It’s hard for me to believe that this book has gotten so many mixed reviews because I loved every. single. chapter. It’s light, funny, + relatable like all good reads are!

Rose and Dust

Author: Christina Hart

Rating: ♡♡♡♡♡

Review:

“The potential of war was all around them–in the air, in the sounds, in their kiss.”

Rose and Dust is the final book in The Rosebush Series. Where Woods and Ash took on a new Jaslove generation, Rose and Dust is a continuation of book 2. Adelina, her mother Ellyn, and Luke are safely home after their ordeal with Ethelyn’s journal but that doesn’t mean there is peace in Lilia Valley. As Orenda’s scheme is being unraveled, the Queen will no longer stand by and watch. Orenda is (finally) exiled from Lilia Valley and not one creature is saddened by it. Although, Orenda will not just roll over and die. When she visits and old freind Nevlin, and keeps ties with the mortal realm through bribery and new elfakits, we know she is planning to take back Lilia Valley. And she’ll do whatever it takes for the throne to be hers once more.

From one chapter to the next I was kept on my tip-toes. This fantasy read held thriller moments which made it almost impossible to stop turning those pages. Inside, Christina Hart gives us so much to learn from these characters. She makes us look into ourselves as humans questioning, “Are we really like that?” And “Omg, mortals really do respond this way..”. The morals this series hold are valuable ones.

My favorite characters stay the same from book 2. Although we see less from Luke and Adelina, we have more Ehtlyn and Lyric which I wasn’t too crazy about. From the start I haven’t been Ethelyn’s biggest fan. She means well I know that for a fact, but as I’ve said in previous reviews.. her indecisiveness chips away at her character for me. Lyric understands in her ways I just can’t stand to which makes me love him. It shows the power of love and being able to look over flaws that we all possess–no matter how big or small.

This is series has taught me so much about myself and gave me a deeper insight to who I want to be. Its crazy how a book can do that for you. If you enjoy stories about deep love, fantasy creature, power + loyalty there is no doubt you will love The Rosebush Series.