Monday, March 1, 2021

State of the ARC [29]

State of the ARC is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah at Avalinah's Books! It's an opportunity for readers to catch up on their long overdue ARCs, but right now I'm using it to keep up with my upcoming ARCs instead. It helps me stay organized! Edit: State of the ARC is currently being hosted by Sarah (All the Book Blog Names Are Taken) while Evelina is on hiatus.

Float Plan by Trish Doller (3/2) Review
Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft (3/2)
Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering (3/2)
Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman (3/2)
The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese (3/2)

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn & Erin Mallon (3/9)
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzalez (3/9)
When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert (3/9)
Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters, #3) by Talia Hibbert (3/9)
Golden Gate (City Spies, #2) by James Ponti (3/9)

The Last Secret You'll Ever Keep (Jane Anonymous, #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz (3/16)
The Black Coast (The God-King Chronicles, #1) by Mike Brooks (3/16)*
Red Island House by Andrea Lee (3/23)
Red Window by Alma Katsu (3/23)
The Accidental Apprentice (Wilderlore, #1) by Amanda Foody (3/30)

Murder at Wedgefield Manor (A Jane Wunderly Mystery, #2) by Erica Ruth Neubauer (3/31)
Fearless by Mandy Gonzalez (4/6)
Almost There and Almost Not by Linda Urban (4/6)
The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch (4/6)
To Love and to  Loathe (The Regency Vows, #2) by Martha Waters (4/6)

Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford (4/6)
What Beauty There Is (What Beauty There Is, #1) by Cory Anderson (4/6)
Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery, #1) by Tirzah Price (4/6) Review
Victories Greater Than Death (Universal Expansion, #1) by Charlie Jane Anders (4/13)
Malice by Heather Walter (4/13)

Weird Kid by Greg Van Eekhout (5/1)*
When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain  (4/13)
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1) by Alexandra Overy (4/20)
I Am a Girl from Africa by Elizabeth Nyamayaro (4/20)
Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein (4/27)

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod (5/4)
Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield (5/4)
It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark (5/4)
Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon (5/4)
Into Darkness (Stuffed, #2) by Liz Braswell (5/4)

Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1) by Megan McCafferty (5/4)
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler (5/11)
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau (5/11)
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren (5/18)
Misfit in Love (Saints and Misfits, #2) by S.K. Ali (5/25)

Better Together by Christine Riccio (6/1)
Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin (6/1)
The Stars of Whistling Ridge by Cindy Baldwin (6/15)
The Girl Least Likely by Katy Loutzenhiser (6/29)
Where It All Lands by Jennie Wexler (7/6)

The Tragedy of Dane Riley by Kat Spears (6/22)
The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould (8/3)
Stowaway by John David Anderson (8/3)

*there's conflicting information about this book's release date

Sunday, February 28, 2021

DNF&Y [35]

DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I disliked about a book might be something you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative! If you would like additional information, please click on the DNF&Y tab at the top. If you want to join, you can link up at the bottom!

Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons, #1) by Christina Lauren

Synopsis (via Goodreads): One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

This started out as a group buddy read on Instagram, but for the life of me I couldn't get into the story. I didn't like Ansel or Mia and thought they were both very flat characters. I put the book down for a few weeks, and when I picked it back up again I had no idea what the actual story was about. (Was there even a story???) I just remembered them having a lot of sex. I tried starting over and reading it again, but I think it was actually worse the second time around. 

As for the sex itself, Ansel and Mia tried a little light BDSM with some roleplay. I'm sure it was supposed to be sexy and romantic, but the only thing those scenes elicited from me was laughter. I couldn't take either of them seriously. She smudged his windows? Really? (They should have addressed Ansel's obsessive need for cleanliness before making her handprints a super big deal.) The entire thing was just really awkward. The weirdness was only amplified when Ansel said that his mother used to be a maid, which is the very thing Mia decided to wear in order to get herself in the mood. (She has to mentally prepare herself - get into a role and out of her head - in order to orgasm.) Like, that's what you chose to lead with afterwards, Ansel? Your mom was also a maid? Was it supposed to be a wonderfully weird coincidence? His comment made the entire thing feel super gross. She couldn't have been a sexy doctor or something instead?

Mia was also incredibly boring. I get that her relationship with Ansel was new and they wanted to explore what they were to each other, but she could have made her own friends, gotten a part-time job, or done something other than sightseeing if she really wanted to enjoy her summer. Personally, I would have been delighted to see Paris on a whim, but she doesn't seem grateful for the opportunity. Ansel also should have done more to be present while she was there, but he's always working. It was obnoxious. It's was also obvious he's hiding something (like when someone showed up unexpectedly to his apartment in the middle of the night), so I skimmed ahead to see what it was. The "big reveal" was annoying, and his lie by omission wasn't worth the effort he put in to keep it maintained. Additionally, it should have been a big Red Flag when Ansel never wanted her to meet his friends, specifically the three people he said knew him better than anyone else.

Secrets and withheld information are two tropes that I hate. Just have an honest conversation with your wife, if you really want to establish roots and get to know her. I'm also not sure what Mia's issue was with her dad, and wish that had been explored more from the start instead of haphazardly mentioned throughout the book. The story was shallow, the characters dull and uninteresting, and there was waaaay too much sex and too little conversation. Don't get me wrong - I love sexy times - but it was the only thing they did. When Ansel got home from work, they didn't go anywhere or do anything together, they just had more sex. If you ask me, their relationship was unhealthy and didn't always feel consensual. (★★☆☆☆)

*Share your DNF&Y post! Please leave the direct link to your DNF&Y post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!