Thursday, August 31, 2023

BLOG TOUR: Study Break, edited by Aashna Avachat

Book Summary

College...the best time, the worst time, and something in between. 

What do you do when orientation isn't going according to your (sister's) detailed plans? Where do you go when you're searching for community in faith? How do you figure out what it means that you're suddenly attracted to your RA? What happens when your partner for your last film project is also your crush and graduation is quickly approaching? 

Told over the course of one academic year, this collection of stories set on the same fictional campus features students from different cultures, genders, and interests learning more about who they are and who they want to be. From new careers to community to (almost) missed connections — and more — these interconnected tales explore the ways university life can be stressful and confusing and exciting and fulfilling. 

Gen Z contributors include Jake Maia Arlow, Arushi Avachat, Boon Carmen, Ananya Devarajan, Camryn Garrett, Christina Li, Racquel Marie, Oyin, Laila Sabreen, Michael Waters, and Joelle Wellington.

Flo's Mini Review

Full disclosure: I am still reading this. But I'm enjoying it! The great thing about anthologies is that at the end of a busy day, you can read one story and feel like you've really made a dent in the book. My favorite story so far has been the one by Aashna, actually -- it's so cute and right up my alley! Cute, awkward boy falling first, a set time frame, all the stuff I love in my romance stories. But one cool thing about this anthology is that it runs the range of protagonists and topics. I love the diversity of characters and story lines. It's definitely giving me all the nostalgia for my college days, which really were such a formative and fun time for me. All the stories I've read so far have ended with possibility and hope and anticipation, and I just love that. What a good overall feeling to capture. It's the one constant in these different stories and I'm here for it. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the stories.

Just for fun: comment with a favorite college memory. Or, if you haven't been to college, comment with a favorite college movie.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Book Review: To the Nines by Janet Evanovich


Goodreads Overview:

Stephanie Plum may not be the best bounty hunter in beautiful downtown Trenton, but she's pretty darn good at turning bad situations her way . . . and she always gets her man. In To the Nines, her cousin Vinnie (who's also her boss) has posted bail on Samuel Singh, an illegal immigrant. When the elusive Mr. Singh goes missing, Stephanie is on the case. But what she uncovers is far more sinister than anyone imagines and leads to a group of killers who give new meaning to the word hunter.

In a race against time that takes her from the Jersey Turnpike to the Vegas Strip, Stephanie Plum is on the chase of her life. The unforgettable characters, nonstop action, high-stakes suspense, and sheer entertainment of To the Nines define Janet Evanovich as unique among today's writers.

Jacque's Review:

This is the nineth book in the Stephanie Plum series and is probably one of my favorites so far. They are all action packed as Stephanie tries to solve the crimes, but she is almost all luck and no skill. She can't even manage to keep her professional security detail from being injured and hauled off. Ranger and Morelli do everything they can to try to keep her safe, but she always manages to find herself in sticky situations. In this installment, she is now the target of some game and is receiving the same bouquets of flowers as one of her victims. 

I personally wouldn't like my chances with Lula and Connie as my backup, but this crazy bunch always seems land on their feet. Connie is the office manager in the bond office and Lula is an overweight African American woman who still dresses like the "hooker" she used to be. She now works as a filing clerk at the bond agency and is usually Stephanie's sidekick. Add in the hilarious dialogue with her parents, sister, and grandmother and you can't help but laugh out loud. 

For the better part of this book, Stephanie had a feeling she knew who was behind the murders. I was a little quicker on the uptake than she was this time around. I knew one of the characters was a little off and would have gone with that instinct instead of going with the more obvious suspect, but then we wouldn't have had all the danger and drama that seems to follow Stephanie like a shadow. 

Nothing much was new in the Stephanie, Ranger, Morelli love triangle, so I will have to keep reading to see how that eventually plays out.