Review: Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

Make Up Break UpMake Up Break Up by Lily Menon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Make Up Break Up is Sandhya Menon’s Adult Romance debut; here writing as Lily Menon.

Most people know Sandhya Menon from her cutesy YA Contemporary novels, When Dimple Met Rishi, From Twinkle, with Love and There’s Something About Sweetie.

In this novel, we follow Annika Dev, the creator of a relationship app, Make Up. Even though the app is floundering a bit at the moment, Annika believes she can make her ‘Google translate for failing relationships’ work.

When a rival app, Break Up, created by the admittedly charming, Hudson Craft, moves into the office space next to Make Up, Annika is rattled.

Since their short fling in Las Vegas the previous year, Annika has watched Hudson’s star rise using an idea she feels he stole from her.

He took her Make Up, flipped it on its head, and Break Up was born. Most infuriating of all, he seems to be having an easier time getting his app off the ground than she is.

Now that their offices are next door to one another, they bump into each other all the time. He clearly isn’t as offended by her presence, however, as she is by his.

In fact, he seems to be trying to charm her. Either that, or get under her skin. He’s devious, it’s tough to figure out his intentions, but Annika’s head is swimming because of it.

Making matters worse, the two companies are set to compete against one another at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest. Make Up needs to win in order to continue. Annika must put her head down and focus, but Hudson is making that really difficult.

I like stories set in the tech world, so this definitely checked that box. Plus, having women in tech is always nice to see.

The flow of the narrative was smooth and it did have some solid, dramatic moments, as well as some light humor.

With this being said, I was never sold on the romance. Annika and Hudson, I just didn’t buy it. I knew I was supposed to be rooting for them to get together, but I wasn’t. I didn’t feel anything for either of them.

I’m sort of ambivalent about the whole thing. It didn’t really impact me one way, or another.

It also seemed to end rather abruptly, after a long-slow build-up. We finally begin to get some resolution and the credits start to roll. That’s it.

Overall, I think this is a good story, it just wasn’t one that I personally connected with. I am sure a lot of people will, however, and I hope Menon continues expanding into this space.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate it.

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Review: Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan

Ten Rules for Faking ItTen Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**2.5-stars rounded up**

Everly Dean is a producer of a radio show, working alongside her best friend, Stacey, the DJ.

On Everly’s 30th-birthday, she catches her boyfriend, Simon, with another woman. Not a great way to start a day.

Arriving at work, she proceeds to rant to Stacey about it. Unfortunately, the microphone was on and now all of their listeners know of the problems with Everly’s love life.

Trying to spin a negative into a positive, Everly agrees to participate in a Bachelorette-style dating show hosted by the station. Their numbers have been struggling and it may boost their ratings just enough to keep them going.

This is a really tough sell for Everly. She suffers from severe social anxiety, so even the thought of going out on a series of random dates with a bunch of strangers causes her to hyperventilate.

Her cute boss, Chris, the one who doesn’t seem to like her at all, thinks it is a great idea though; as does Stacey. She’ll give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?

As it turns out, the dates aren’t too bad, but Everly can’t stop thinking about her boss.

Alternating between Chris and Everly’s perspective, the Reader gets a front row seat to all of their pinings, doubts and insecurities, as an adorable friendship develops.

The first half of this book, I was pretty into it. I liked the characters and although not super romance heavy, I enjoyed reading about their friendships and issues.

Everly’s anxieties were relatable and I thought she was doing a great job getting outside of her comfort zone and working at lowering her walls.

I really liked Chris as well. He was in a difficult position. His father owns the radio station, but he didn’t want any of the employees to know. He wanted to be judged on his own merit, not because of the fact that his father is super rich.

Chis has a huge crush on Everly, but doesn’t feel like he is in a position to make a move considering he is her boss. That makes sense. I get that.

Everything was going along nicely, but then somewhere around the 80% mark, it just went off the rails for me.

It got beyond frustrating. I actually started to get angry with the characters and the way things were going. I was yelling at them. Literally exclaiming things randomly while reading.

Everly ended up turning into one of my least favorite characters ever. She was so rigid. Holding everyone to these impossibly high standards. It was so freaking aggravating.

It was like she had never made a mistake before. She’s a 30-year old woman, judging people based upon decisions they made when they were 20-freaking years old.

I don’t know, something about that just rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t get over that distaste once it was in my head and the rest of the story suffered for it.

I rounded up to 3-stars, because I feel like this has the workings to be a good story, and if you don’t have the same issues with Everly that I did, this could work for you. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a great fit for me.

I did adore Chris though. He deserves better, in my opinion, than the end of this book.

Also, although this didn’t have an impact on my rating, I know for a lot of Romance Readers it might, there is zero steam in this story. There is more steam in a Hallmark movie than in this book, so if that is what you are looking for, look elsewhere.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I do appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion.

While this didn’t knock it out of the park for me, I would definitely try more from Sophie Sullivan.

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Review: Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia

Tuesday Mooney Talks to GhostsTuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tuesday Mooney, a 30-something researcher, living in Boston is about to have the adventure of a lifetime following the clues on a dead billionaire’s treasure hunt.

She is just the sort of character I love, independent, funny, smart, quirky and a bit of a loner; I was happy to go along for the ride.

Full of hilarious hijinks and engrossing twists and turns, this story grabbed me by the heart and never let up. I was a big fan of Racculia’s work going in and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Every page is full of intelligent writing and witty banter, I am seriously addicted to her style. I could absolutely see myself reading this story again. There was a great cast of side characters that brought humor and depth.

The setting of the city of Boston, a place where I have lived, made it even more exciting. Tie in the fact that she kept mentioning my hometown of Nantucket, felt like I was reading about a friend or neighbor!

As always, Racculia weaves some fairly serious topics into her otherwise humorous narrative. There is an examination of grief, guilt, the loss of a friend, loss of a family member, loss of a job, questioning of self-worth, intimacy, adult friendships and the presence of an afterlife, to name a few.

I think she always handles such topics with grace. It was all really well done here.

If you are looking for a fun, fast-paced, fantastical adult novel, you should definitely give this one a try. If you do and you enjoy it, be sure to check out Bellweather Rhapsody as well!

Finally, thank you to my friend, Tucker, for sending me his copy. I will cherish it forever!!

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Review: Daisy Jones & the Six

Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The 1970’s was an amazing decade for music. The rock genre began taking the world by storm, selling out large arenas and gathering unheard of crowds of obsessed fans.

Groups such as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult, Boston, and Queen were living large with lifestyles infused with sex, drugs and rock and roll. This is the profile of one such band, Daisy Jones & the Six.

Told via a highly creative interview format, Daisy Jones & The Six is an exceptional example of that format done wisely. This felt like an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on steroids!

I started my read of this switching back and forth between my hard copy and the audiobook. Roughly 35% in, it was clear the audiobook is absolutely the best way to inhale this story.

The full cast truly draws you in. I felt like these people were real. I wanted to hear their songs, buy their album and hang their posters on my wall. Billy had me fangirling like I was in Junior High all over again.

This was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid and I was definitely impressed. She writes with such skill. I cannot wait to pick up some of her other books. Obviously, Evelyn Hugo will be next. I just hope the hype for that holds up as well as this one did!

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