20 February 2018

Bite Sized Books // Hate To Love Romance

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The Hating Game – Sally Thorne
Published: 9th August 2016
Source: Netgalley/Purchased
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
NEMESIS (n)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome
2) A person's undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work - except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.

Trapped in a shared office, they've become entrenched in an addictive game of one-upmanship. There's the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can't let Joshua beat her at anything - especially when a huge promotion is on offer.

If Lucy wins, she'll be Joshua's boss. If she loses, she'll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn't hate him. And just maybe, he doesn't hate her either. Or is this just another game . . . ?



I read this book a good long while ago and never reviewed it on my blog or Netgalley. It was a fantastic read and I really enjoyed it, I even bought a copy for me to reread at some point. It definitely feels like a romance I could revisit another day and enjoy just as much,

Last year, there was a lot of hype surrounding this book so I was a little nervous going in. Luckily, this book met all the hype and then some. When I first began reading I was a bit uncertain. I mean, Lucy fully just throws us into hating Josh right along with her and it's funny and weird and I wasn't sure at first, but then I thought it was hilarious. The way it was written was a little over the top but it had the right amount of humour to have me giggling along with the book.

The tension between Josh and Lucy was brilliant, you seriously could tell that there was so much chemistry between them. At times I was fanning myself there was fire between them. You spend a few chapters enjoying the strange games they play and enjoying Lucy's utter obsession with Josh and his different behaviours and then you get to see them together as their chemistry boils over. Josh lusting after Lucy after she's dressed in a provocative outfit and then that elevator scene?!?! Let me just fan myself for a second.

I think this book was so perfect because it was on the edge of being weird. I mean, Lucy and her neurotic behaviour is hilarious. She could come across as crazy (she does come across as crazy) but she is adorable whilst doing it and Josh doesn't even bat an eyelash at it. Their battle of wills and their competitive streak with one another is just awesome.
It's hard to fully describe this book and explain why it is so great. It's hilarious and such a swoony romance and it's just brilliant. It's partially a throwback to older 'chick-lit' in the general tone of the book, but yet it's completely it's own book at the same time. I think I've stopped expecting books to be funny like this when it comes to romance and it's showing me I'm wrong for thinking that.

The only reason I didn't rate this book 5 stars is because the ending just felt lacking in some way. I almost felt like we lost a couple of chapters. It was no major gripe, it didn't make me like the book any less, it simply ended too soon for my liking.

14. Love To Hate You
Love to Hate You – Jo Watson
Published: 6th February 2018
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
An unmissable sexy rom-com from the author of ALMOST A BRIDE. Perfect for fans of Joanna Bolouri, Cate Woods and Sally Thorne's THE HATING GAME.


Sera is usually a good girl. (Except for one wild night in the backseat of a stranger's car!) But what happens when that bad boy turns out to be her new boss? And what happens when he wants more than one night...and he can be very persuasive...

For more laugh-out-loud, swoon-worthy hijinks, don't miss Jo's other rom-coms, BURNING MOON, ALMOST A BRIDE and FINDING YOU.
I admit, I was drawn into requesting this book on Netgalley because of the comparison to The Hating Game so it felt utterly appropriate to then review it right along with that very book (which I should have reviewed a year ago).

First off, it was utterly ridiculous but very fun. I mean, it starts with a girl having sex in the backseat of a car after going to a gay club and then runs a way after a group of drag queens knocks the car and cheers as she runs away. Like, if that doesn’t say it all with this book I don't know what does. That sort of sets the tone of the book, it’s just that step beyond and a little ridiculous. It’s a perfect light read but at times the ridiculousness took me out of the book as I went ‘really?’ which was a little annoying.

One thing I really liked is this book is set in South Africa! That is exciting for me as my uncle actually lived in South Africa before he died. It’s one place I only want to visit because of the family connection. I couldn’t immediately tell but once it clicked that the author was South African it was really obvious. It was fun to read a book set somewhere different for once.

But onto why this book was ridiculous. It was so OTT and yes it did having me laughing and smiling to myself and it did have rom-coms vibes but if I hadn't been in the mood for a light easy read I might have hated it. Luckily, I was in the mood for it so it worked but I had to say it. It took me out of the story a couple of times so it’s a love/hate thing for this style of writing.

Also, it felt like all the stereotypes were here like the gay couple who were kind and totally out there and the sexy hot stranger/boss with a heart of gold. And the MC with a troubled family who just didn't see how awesome she was. All things which meant characters felt flat at times which is why this book didn't get a higher rating. Romance is all about the characters so if you're not loving them the you're not loving the book. Sera was likeable at times but then sometimes I was rolling my eyes in a bad way at her antics, you know?

I am glad I read this though. It was very reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella and old school chick-lit of the 2000s. It had that fun vibe going for it and I know there are plenty of folks who won't even notice any issues and will love the rollercoaster ride of fun.

And there are my reviews for two hate to love romances. What hate to love romance do you love?

18 February 2018

Sunday Summary // 18.02.2018

Sunday Summary
Hi guys. Just a quick update this week. I’ve been crazy busy both in real life and I even got blogging done this week, but it means I am exhausted. Turns out blogging takes it out of you, who knew?

My busy week has been made up of work, seeing friends and sorting through things at my nan’s. It’s been a busy, busy week. I can’t even think of everything I’ve been up to. I spent a lot of time watching Bones (I’m up to season 6 and I am loving it). I also saw old school friends and it was great, laughing ‘til you cry and generally having fun. And there was pancake day this week too. I don’t think I mentioned but my mom was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes so she’s having to look at her diet and cut down on sugar and carbs. It meant she couldn’t have usual pancakes so I found this awesome banana pancake recipe. That was pretty fun to make… if a little difficult to flip (also, if you guys have good low sugar/low card recipes let me know because me and my mom are trying to find good foods that still taste nice).

I’ve done plenty of blogging as well this week (three posts up, I know you’re all impressed… I know I was). I quite enjoyed staying up to date with these things but honestly I don’t know how I used to do it because I had like no time left after doing that, how do folks have time to read and blog? It means this week, a slower week of blogging so I can have a date with my bed and figure out what on earth I feel like reading.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I’ve read one book. I know, that’s it. Like I said, blogging takes up crazy amounts of time. Also, I’ve had no clue what to read lately. It’s not a slump, I’m just unsure as what I want to do other than watch copious amounts of Bones.

New To Me

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So just two new purchased books. I haven’t gotten around to read the newest Sarah Dessen book so I had to buy when it was on sale. Spare and Found Parts I only heard of last week as it was advertised in the back of Shadowsong and then I saw it in a couple of magazines and it sounds really cool, I’m excited to read it.
Cover Spread Starfish.inddA Thousand Perfect NotesThe Truth About AliceRuinTo Kill a Kingdom
I got a whole heap of ARCs this week and yeah, it’s a lot of YA which I’ve drifted from a bit but I’ve heard a good things about most of these. I mean, I have Cait’s book! You don’t know how exciting it is, I’ve never been so glad to be auto approved. Ruin was a surprise ARC in the post and yay for sports romance. And I won a copy of To Kill A Kingdom. It’s fantasy about sirens! Who doesn’t want to read that?

How was your week? Anyone else find they’re time being eaten up and not having time for anything? And who is excited about all the new books coming out?

16 February 2018

My Thoughts // Why I Love The Book Blogging Community

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It’s not so much of a discussion post this time around but more me singing the praises of the awesomeness of the books blogging community. Recently, I’ve had a tough time of it in real life. My nan died and it sucked but I refused to allow myself to not blog and so powered through. I am still struggling to find a new blog/life balance (much like a work/life balance but blogging is way more fun than work). Whilst I’ve been struggling through real life stuff, though, bloggers have continually reminded me why I adore the book blogging community and why I keep blogging even though sometimes you have doubts as to why you keep going. There are plenty of reasons for why the book blogging community is brilliant but these are the ones which came to mind for me.

Supportive

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One thing which has always been apparent to me is that everyone I have spoken to and whose blogs I have visited has been supportive. If you show even a little bit of doubt or uncertainty you’ll have about five people lining up to give you a boost. I love that when things are tough I’ve got folks telling me that it’s okay. I mean, I have folks offering me support and being kind. Anyone who tells you that online friends aren’t real friends hasn’t been going through a tough time and had folks asking how you’re doing and messaging on a tough day. Bloggers are the best and they are there for you always. They all deserve a massive hug for being awesome like that.

Diverse

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Book bloggers are seriously all over the world. You will not find a more diverse bunch of people. You speak to folks in the US (yes, there are a lot of them) but there are also folks in Europe, Asia, Australia. Everywhere! It means you learn about a whole bunch of books and as there is a push for books to more reflect reality (thus not be a sea of white middle-class people). I mean, I had no idea the sheer number of books being published in Australia until I started reading books blogs, there are loads of them and we get to see but a smidgen of them! I mean, the way different people view books is insane as well! I am white, middle class and live in the UK. I have had an easy life, all things considered, so seeing other bloggers highlight books which they can relate to and represent their own experience is awesome. I have people explaining why certain reads are problematic to them and why others are well done at showing something which they can relate to. I have folks telling me about books I would never have even heard of if it wasn’t for blogs and the internet in general. It’s awesome, yay for blogging.

Friendly

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I was terrified to start blogging. I didn’t comment on other blogs for a while and really, did not have a clue what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to talk about books like other folks, but I wasn’t totally certain how to go about it. Other bloggers made me feel so welcome. Like I said before, anyone who tells you that online friends aren’t real friends is a liar because the book bloggers I have spoken to in my time (almost four years of blogging) have always been friendly and approachable and sometimes I know more about what’s happening with them than real life friends. They’ll chat and ask you questions and if you’re daring enough to go to a bookish event then they’ll totally be willing to chat and hang out as if you do it all the time.

Helpful

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Look, blogging is hard. You have to become a writer, a reviewer, make your graphics, design a website (or buy one) and manage and maintain the whole thing. You have to learn to do all of these things, especially things you may never have done before. You have to learn things and educate yourself and it takes time and effort and we have real lives as well as a blogging one to maintain. It’s hard and complicated and so the fact that bloggers everywhere write helpful guides helping guide on any question you might have. And most people are willing to answer questions you might have. It’s awesome, want to know how someone formatted on their blog? Most of the time people will give you advise. Want to advise on blog design? There are plenty of people you can ask for hints and tips. The most helpful bunch.

All The Best Recs

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The best thing about bloggers, though? They always have the best recs. I never had so many books on my TBR as since I started blogging. You say you liked one type of book, one genre or one trope and folks are ready to recommend you 20 more. You read all these posts and say a book sounds good and bloggers will tell you to check out something else. It’s amazing really how much we push books at one another and how excited we all are to tell each other about these great books. The excitement to read new stuff and get everyone else to do the same is amazing. We are awesome.

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In conclusion, book bloggers are amazing and we should all definitely take the time to remind each other of that fact. This is me doing that. You’re all awesome and you deserve the love.

Why do you love book bloggers? What makes us all so great (because we all need a boost from time to time)?