Book Review

Book Review: Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis-5 Stars!



Thank you to the wonderful Aven Ellis for the gift of this incredible novel!! ❤

Summary from Goodreads

Aven Ellis is one of my favorite authors. You know the ones where, no matter what they write, you just have to have it because you just know it will be amazing?  I was so excited to get to read her latest, which tells the story of Bree, who we meet in Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista. I absolutely loved Bree’s story. I related so well with her. For a while after graduation, I was so down because I didn’t have a career, after going through school for 4 years and working so hard, only to work a part time, minimum wage job. But like Bree, with the help of an encouraging handsome man, more hard work, believing in myself, and dedication, I now have a career! 🙂 She has moved back home with her parents because she can’t find a professional job, and her meddling mother is trying to set her up with their neighbor’s grandson, Eric. Bree is bummed about having to work as  a cocktail waitress, without a real job in her field lined up, so she decides to get a drastic hair cut for a fresh start. Turns out her “fresh start” is actually “The Rachel”- yup, the look worn by Rachel on Friends in the 90’s! When Bree meets Jack, Eric’s brother, she’s immediately head over heels. He’s got navy eyes, reddish-brown hair, and freckles….how handsome!! Jack is a German translator. He is a good guy, and sometimes doesn’t have a lot of faith or confidence in himself.

I didn’t think I could love an Aven Ellis character more than I did William from Connectivity, but like Bree, I was falling for Jack hard!! (William is still in the top spot because he’s British ;)!) I really enjoy how Aven’s romances are real. True life isn’t all sunshine and daisies. People get hurt, people mess up, but when it comes down to it, love is all that matters! In one moment of the story Bree realized she loved Jack so much that she envisioned themselves scraping by in a tiny apartment, but happy and in love! Bree and Jack both have past loves that they’ve struggled with healing their hearts over, and that brings conflict to Jack and Bree’s relationship. I could honestly feel myself hurting for each of them during these hard times! I love the sweet, dreamy, romantic way Jack speaks to and treats Bree. He’s so loving, playful, and encouraging. I always laughed at their “deal-breakers!” Their relationship reminds me of me and my husband, between the joking and sarcasm and the true love they have for each other. Their first kiss among the fireflies was magical! Bree calls Jack her “firefly who has lit up the darkness” that she felt after Alex dumped her. This review can’t be written without mentioning Diva, Bree’s mom’s Pomeranian. She totally fit her name!! I love that little pup! I thought it was hilarious how Jack took her to Doga (yes, dog yoga)! Without Diva running into Jack’s house and peeing on the floor, Jack and Bree would never have connected! I was engaged in this story from the very start, and didn’t want to put it down! I was constantly wanting to read more of Bree and Jack’s story, but it was so good, I didn’t want it to end!

“You have to get through crises to get to where you need to be.” 

“I just wanted to give you fireflies, but this is as close as I could get in the month of December.”


Thank you Aven, for another wonderful, heart warming, enjoyable read! 

Now I need a book that features Emma!! And I’m requesting Tom Hardy to be male inspiration! 😉

Book Review

Book Review: My True Love Gave to Me (Twelve Holiday Stories) 4 Stars Total

*Thanks to Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for this delightful read!*

I’ve missed writing on this blog!! I’ve been crazy busy, but today’s post is going to feature “My True Love Gave to Me!” This is a collection of twelve holiday stories that is simply delightful. For the book as a whole, I give it 4 stars, but I’m going to give mini reviews for each of the novellas. Of course, with every collection, there is going to be stories you absolutely love, ones you hate, and those you’re just “meh” about. Some of the short stories, I felt, ended way too abruptly. Overall though, I highly recommend this book!




The stories in order:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link
Angels In The Snow by Matt de la Peña
Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan
Krampuslauf by Holly Black
What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor


Midnights was a really sweet story, and perfect to set the holiday tone for this anthology! Midnights is set just before NYE of various years, with each one ending in Noel kissing any random girl, while his best friend, Mags, stands back and wishes it was her instead. Pretty much a cliche story, but cute nonetheless! 5*

The Lady and The Fox had a magical realism element going on, which I LOVEEE. I’ve seen various reviews from other readers saying they disliked this one, but it was one of my most favorites from the collection. This story focuses on Miranda, a goddaughter of a wealthy family, the Honeywells. Each year at Christmas, she sees Finnick on the outside looking in, but only on Christmas. Very mysterious 😉 This story was sooooo well written and intriguing. 5*

Angels in the Snow was another sweet story, with relatable characters. In this story, Shy is cat-sitting for his boss, during the Christmas vacation at his university. He can’t afford to go home, is broke as a joke, and hungry. OH, and it’s snowing like crazy. Enter upstairs neighbor, cute,  chatty Haley, and the story unfolds very sweetly! 5*

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me was just no. It’s about Santa’s adopted human daughter, who is crushing hard on an Elf, but telling the other elves she likes this guy she met while delivering presents with Santa. -_- WHAT. Just no. I didn’t like this one, it was weird, and I didn’t get any real storyline from it. This was one of those that ended really randomly.  2*

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown was my other favorite. 1 because it was set in my hometown! And the descriptions of Asheville were so accurate it’s awesome. The main characters are called Marigold and North. North’s family owns a Christmas tree lot. Marigold makes videos, and needs North’s voice in a video for her mom. Marigold is having a hard time at home as it’s just her and her mom, but North swoops in and saves the day. This story was just perfect. 5*

Your Temporary Santa seemed pointless to me. I didn’t really get anything out of this one. 2*

Krampuslauf was pretty weird, but I liked it. Had a type of magical element that really intrigued me. 4*

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth was another winner! Sophie keeps having these WTH moments until she meets Russell. I loved the characters, and the scene in the restaurant was so sweet and perfect and ahhh I just loved Sophie and Russel!! They just meshed so well together! 5*

Beer Buckets & Baby Jesus was just lame. I hated this one. It was really cliche, about a troublemaker and a “good girl” hitting it off. Just blah. 1*

Welcome to Christmas, CA was awesome. Maria is stuck in a town called Christmas and wants nothing more than to get the heck out. Enter super cute chef at the restaurant she works at, who can read people so well, he knows just what to cook for them before they even ask, giving the book a somewhat magical element as well. (Which I obvi love LOL) 5*

Star of Bethlehem was really cute and original in this anthology! I loved it! I think I even cried… 🙂 5*

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer…well to come in with a bang with Rainbow Rowell’s story, the book definitely fizzled out at the end with this story. I got no sense of Christmas/Holiday spirit while reading this one, and it just seemed kind of choppy. I do love the premise of this story, but maybe not in a holiday anthology. 3*

My 2 most FAVORITES of the bunch were “The Lady and The Fox” and “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown.”

Have you read this collection of stories? What did YOU think?

I have this on my Kindle, but I really want the print version because PINK PAGE EDGES!