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Book Reviews

Book Review: “Cherry Lane” by Rochelle Alers

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: Cavanaugh Island #5
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: A place to call home . . .

In New York City, attorney Devon Gilmore devoted all her time and energy to fast-track her career. She lost her boyfriend . . . but found herself with a surprise baby on the way. To begin a new life, Devon needs a place to settle down-a place like Cavanaugh Island, where the pace is slow, the weather is fine, and the men are even finer.

From the moment David Sullivan meets Devon, he knows he can’t fight the laws of attraction. Whether it’s helping fix up the old cottage she just bought on Cherry Lane or working together on a pro bono legal case, he can’t help feeling a little protective. But will the most eligible bachelor in town be ready for an instant family? Only if he can convince Devon to put her heart on the line one more time-for all time.

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My Review:
Cherry Lane is a sweet, romantic story that I didn’t mind the insta-love. A pleasant read for sure.

I found myself hooked right away because of the South Carolina setting and Devon’s character. The book is rich with details so vivid I felt like taking a trip to Charleston, South Carolina myself. I wish Cavanaugh Island really existed because I would visit that small-town place too. Cavanaugh Island sounds and looks homey and the people are super friendly.

Devon is a very successful entertainment lawyer and I love seeing what she’s done for herself despite coming from a stifling home life. She’s pretty funny when she wants to be and, like David, I’m always surprised by the things that come out of her mouth. She’s incredibly humble and gracious. She’s also really talented, which I wish that was brought to the forefront more.

Of course, David is a charmer – really the total package of a handsome southern gentleman. He too is a successful lawyer so I liked that he had that in common with Devon. I wish we could have seen more of his quirky, nerdy side because those were such bright moments and interestingly contrasted with what one normally thinks a lawyer to be like.

Really, Devon and David are literally the perfect couple and do have their moments of contention with one another. This is important because I really can’t find any actual flaws in their characters.

The lack of flaws or any real conflict/antagonist was practically non-existent. The scum that is Gregory – Devon’s last boyfriend – doesn’t show up until towards the very end where you’ve pretty much settle with the notion of an obvious happily ever after already wrapped up in a nice neat bow. I really thought what Gregory could bring to the story should have come up sooner. The minimalism might as well have not been there because it soured the ending.

Despite the unsatisfactory ending, Cherry Lane was a good book and romance read. I would definitely read more books by Rochelle Alers.

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: “Awkward” by Svetlana Chmakova

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Berrybrook Middle School #1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope–Peppi–Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals–the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

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My Review:
Awkward was a fantastic read! I loved it a lot and energetically read it in one sitting. The book takes simple unofficial “cardinal” rules of middle school and amplifies them through expressive illustrations, relatable characters, and humor.

I don’t find Peppi awkward but rather imperfectly perfect. I connected with her on a personal level, acutely viewing the turmoil between the two clubs through her eyes. She’s a cool, friendly person, and performs as a uniquely ideal main character for a middle grade story. I don’t think I would have adored the story as much as I did if the MC had been different.

I also found Peppi and Jaime’s interactions super cute. Two ordinary remarkable people on the fringes of middle school social circles who are talented and friendly. It’s sweet.

Wonderful story. The illustrations are phenomenal and hilarious. I would highly recommend this book ad author. I look forward to reading more by Chmakova.