Top Ten Tuesday – Books on My Spring TBR!

Good Morning!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic, Books On My Spring 2022 TBR. Here are some books I would love to dive right into. This is mostly a Contemporary/Rom-Com list with a splash of Fantasy. Realistically I won’t get to all of these by the end of Spring as there are many new changes quickly approaching, but one can dream!

1. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

2. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abby Waxman

3. Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

4. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

5. Again but Better by Christine Riccio

6. Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

7. Gilded by Marissa Meyer

8. American Royals by Katherine McGee

9. The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning

10. Illusionary by Zoraida Cordova

What books are you reading this Spring? Let me know! Happy Reading!

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Title: You’ve Reached Sam

Author: Dustin Thao

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publishing Date: November 9, 2021

Narrated By: Sonleea Nankani

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Pages: 304

Find It: Amazon, Audible, Barnes and Noble

How do you move forward when everything you love is on the line?

Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan.

But then Sam dies. And everything changes.

Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.

And Sam picks up the phone.

In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.

My Thoughts

I really wanted to love this book.
Love, loss, depression and finally, coming back from all of it on top. The best part, you get to say your good bye. Something many of us who have experienced loss were not so lucky to have.

I was eager to dive into this. I think we can all agree that everyone is entitled to handle grief in a way that helps them cope with their loss (provided it doesn’t border on hurting themselves).

Seemingly Julie’s (Main Character) main focus is her own emotional turmoil. Despite the fact that Sam’s death has impacted everyone around her. Julie has cut off all of their friends from school, even Sam’s own family whom she was once close to. She is completely withdrawn and skips Sam’s funeral. Never reaching out to anyone. In the beginning it’s easy to feel a surge of sympathy for her. She lost her boyfriend. Its not as if they broke up. He’s gone forever. Her grief is heavy and seemingly endless. For this I excused her selfishness. I tried to give her and the book ample time to begin sorting things out. After all that’s what character growth is right?

When it came to Sam (our other Main Character) I also felt no emotional connection. Maybe if there had been more………..just more. While Thao does give us occasional flashbacks between the two main characters, it wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough history. There wasn’t enough of their relationship together.
However as the book progresses you begin to see more into how Sam is feeling. Being the one who’s gone, the one who will never be able to fill out college applications. Never again pick up a guitar or write music. Never hang out with his friends again.
To that Thao did a great job opening my eyes to the idea that those who are gone may also feel regret/remorse at a life left behind. (If we were able to ask them of course.)

In the end it was refreshing to see how Julie finally began to move on. Reconnecting with others. Finding new ways to celebrate Sam’s life while creatively letting go of her grief little by little. We also see Thoa take Julie’s special connection with Sam to a new level. Though it doesn’t seem to really go anywhere.

Nankani’s narration was matched evenly with the tone of the book. She brings Julie’s emotions (and Sam’s!) into the story. Weaving together a beautiful telling.
I love what the author was trying to do here. Truly. Unfortunately there was very little that I was able to connect with. The book wasn’t strong enough to entice genuine emotions. Nothing about this book was “tear jerking.”
It must be said that the cover art is absolutely beautiful. It feels like a perfect embodiment to Sam and Julie’s connection. Rather how it was supposed to be. To the hurt they feel in their hearts and the admiration they feel for each other.

RATING

Recommendation

For those who enjoy magical surrealism and contemporary, I would say this book is worth trying. Do I recommend buying it? No. Borrow it from a friend, the Library or maybe even peruse a used book shop.

*I received an advanced copy of this book through the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion*

If you dialed the phone number of someone you lost and they answered, (actually answered!) what would you say? How would you react? Could you ever find the courage to hang up one last time?

Goodbye September!

Happy October! ❤ one of the best months of the year! It means scary movies with lots of popcorn (all month long!), spooky reads, the ofrenda gets put up and costumes come out of hibernation! Someday we’ll tell our kids how we used to go out for Halloween and have parties, with real people!

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Eleanor, Alice and the Roosevelt Ghosts – Blog Tour

Hey guys! ❤ Today I’m hosting a spot on the ELEANOR, ALICE, AND THE ROOSEVELT GHOSTS  by Dianne K. Salerni Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. As always please don’t forget you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win!

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What Are You Reading Wednesday

Good morning guys ❤ Can you believe another week in September is already half way gone? These days I’ve taken to drinking my morning coffee out side. Now that it actually feels good in the morning! I started a trend! My son and husband will also sit with me once they wake up and you know what, I love it. Even though all we have out back is a couple of lawn chairs to sit in (hah!) and dead, dry, brown weeds to look at.

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Wayward Witch – Book Review

When I first got this book I received it as an ARC. In fact all three of these books I received as ARC’s. Since these all came to me as e-arc’s I don’t own any physical copies but I need them! These will probably be my Christmas gift to myself.
I prolonged finishing this as long as I could because I didn’t want this to end, and by the time I was actually done the book was released! Let’s dive into the review because I have things to say!

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The Black Cat Blue Sea Award

Hey guys! Way back in two thousand something (forgot what year exactly) I was nominated for this award by Sophie @Blame Chocolate. Sadly she has since taken a hiatus. Something I truly hope she is enjoying as we all know the pressures that can sometimes come with blogging and social media. When my blog was first started her’s was one of the original blogs I started following on here. You can still check out her blog. She has reviews, tags and more still up for your browsing leisure. In case you do decide to come back from hiatus, thank you Sophie! (Seriously one of my favorite girl names)

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What Are You Reading Wednesday

Hi guys!!! ❤ it’s been a solid six days since I’ve blogged and you know what, it feels longer. You know that feeling when you keep meaning to call a family member, but darn it all if time didn’t just run away from you again!? It was that feeling. Also I have missed writing and reading posts.

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