L-L-L-Little Reviews #53: August 2023

Posted August 30, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

Here are the books I read and/or finished this past month that were not part of scheduled tours or requests from authors/publishers.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
L-L-L-Little Reviews #53:  August 2023All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Penguin Random House on March 1, 2022
Genres: YA Contemporary
Length: 10:25
Source: the library
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & NobleBuy on Audible

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.Lahore, Pakistan. Then.Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Clouds Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start. Juniper, California. Now.Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding. Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbahs health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncles liquor store while hiding the fact that shes applying to college so she can escape him--and Juniper--forever. When Sals attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth--and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst. From one of todays most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness--one thats both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.

My Review:

I was blown away by this story. It had so much to it. It was really so emotional, and I even learned so much about Pakistani culture. While there was so much of me thinking about how they shouldn’t do the things they did, or should tell someone or do something, it made sense why they did. And of course it seemed as if maybe their bad choices might be okay, even in if in the end they didn’t quite go that way. It was such a real story, with real emotion and real consequences, etc. I adored the book and am so happy it will be one of the choices possible for the Gateway committee.

The Dark Place by Britney S. Lewis

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

L-L-L-Little Reviews #53:  August 2023The Dark Place by Britney S. Lewis
Published by Disney-Hyperion on August 8, 2023
Genres: YA Horror
Pages: 368
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: four-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble

You can only hide from your nightmares for so long.
Seventeen-year-old Hylee Williams didn't ask to disappear. But she did disappear, and not only that, but when she vanished from our world, she materialized in a dark, twisted version of the night that changed her life forever: the night her older brother went missing.
Just as Hylee realizes this moment could be the key to unraveling the truth about her brother, she's yanked away from the dark place back to our world. Craving a sense of normalcy, she goes to a party with her best friend--where she meets Eilam Roads. Tall, handsome, and undeniably, inexplicably familiar, Hylee can't help the pull she feels towards him. It's a classic teen girl-meets-boy situation, until it happens again. She disappears, right in front of him.
Together, Hylee and Eilam investigate the truth about time, space, and reality, with Hylee increasingly convinced her time travel holds the key to saving her brother. But the more they learn, the more Hylee begins to see darkness lurking in her world--and in herself.
Britney S. Lewis's sophomore novel combines the quotable relatability, swoony romance, and emotional resonance of John Green with the surrealist horror imagery and razor-sharp wit of Jordan Peele. At once haunting and enchanting and entirely unforgettable.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this author’s first book, and especially the fact that it was set in KCK and also in a suburb of KCMO, places I’ve worked and lived. This second book from her was also a really good one and had a lot of intense moments. I liked the way the story fell into place and how what seemed to be all of a sudden and something out of the ordinary maybe wasn’t quite so much either one of those things. I liked how the connection led to her meeting a boy and then not only was it just a crazy thing that happened, it even kind of turned into a bit of sci-fi in a way with some time travel and thinking about how things might change as the character traveled and what she did or did not do when she went back. I really think this author has some great stories already and will be bringing us more in the future!

Part of Your World (Part of Your World #1) by Abby Jimenez
L-L-L-Little Reviews #53:  August 2023Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Narrator: Julia Whelan, Zachary Webber
Published by Forever on April 19, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 10:05
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & NobleBuy on Audible

The New York Times bestselling author of Life's Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.
After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.
While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.
Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?

My Review:

I used one of my Audible credits to get this one because I had chosen the second book in the series as my Book of the Month pick a few months ago when it came out. But since I hadn’t read this yet, I decided to go the audiobook route. And I ended up loving this one so much. The male narrator, Zachary Webber (who I got to meet at Book Bonanza 2022), did such a great job at showing the emotion for Daniel that I was in tears a few times at the end of this book as things were looking down for the couple. I was so irritated with Alexis for how she kept not being honest with him, and thinking there was no way they could be together. But I also got it a little as I know I’ve probably passed over a few things that might have been good for me because of feeling the way she did. And when she figured some stuff out at the end, the way she figured it out, yeah, I really got her then. Such a great book and I can’t wait till I can fit book 2 into my reading schedule!

All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown
L-L-L-Little Reviews #53:  August 2023All That's Left in the World by Erik J. Brown
Narrator: Barrett Leddy, Andrew Gibson
Published by Balzer + Bray on March 8, 2022
Genres: YA LGBTQ, YA Science Fiction
Length: 10:06
Source: the library
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & NobleBuy on Audible

When Andrew stumbles upon Jamie’s house, he’s injured, starved, and has nothing left to lose. A deadly pathogen has killed off most of the world’s population, including everyone both boys have ever loved. And if this new world has taught them anything, it’s to be scared of what other desperate people will do . . . so why does it seem so easy for them to trust each other?
After danger breaches their shelter, they flee south in search of civilization. But something isn’t adding up about Andrew’s story, and it could cost them everything. And Jamie has a secret, too. He’s starting to feel something more than friendship for Andrew, adding another layer of fear and confusion to an already tumultuous journey.
The road ahead of them is long, and to survive, they’ll have to shed their secrets, face the consequences of their actions, and find the courage to fight for the future they desire, together. Only one thing feels certain: all that’s left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other.

My Review:

This was a late addition to the Gateway committee list and we didn’t get copies of this from the publisher. But it was voted high enough by those who did read it that it got added to the final 25 narrow down list that I needed to still read by January. This was one that definitely sounded good and I was not disappointed! I loved the way it had elements that made me think of shows like The Walking Dead, and other end of the world shows. While this didn’t have zombies, it did have the problems with the other people left alive. I loved how it all worked out and how even if you thought one thing was sorted it might not be. And if it seemed that all was lost and why bother, there was a reason to keep going. But it was a hard trip for the boys and totally worth it in the end.

The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams
L-L-L-Little Reviews #53:  August 2023The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Series: Bromance Book Club #1
Narrator: Andrew Eiden, Maxwell Caulfield
Published by Penguin Audio on November 5, 2019
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Romantic Comedy, Adult Sports Romance
Length: 09:09
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & NobleBuy on Audible

The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

My Review:

So I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this one because as someone who has never been married, and probably will never be married at this point, I have trouble dealing with married couple stories just for my own connection to them. Also it is in 3rd person, and I do prefer 1st person for romance. HOWEVER! This book was the bomb. I totally get why everyone loves these books so much. Since we are kind of getting the story a tiny bit more from the guy’s side, although we do get his wife’s side, I definitely felt more for him. I mean I understood her issues, but still I was totally rooting for Gavin the whole time. I loved the whole idea of using romance novels as “instruction manuals” for romance. Which I knew was why I wanted to read this in the first place. Loved it so much I bought the next audiobook with a sale on Audible and am going to start listening next!

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 0
Pin Share20


6 responses to “L-L-L-Little Reviews #53: August 2023

    • Lisa Mandina

      I finally got around to reading her and ended up loving the first book, so yeah, definitely give her a try!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I think your reviews are the ones that convinced me to go ahead and start the Bromance series, lol. This was my first Jimenez book and I loved it!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I really liked it! It had some definitely new aspects while still ones that were reminiscent of some of my favorite shows like The Walking Dead!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.