So, a long time ago (ok, more like back in 2020), the phenomenal Caitlin started this series in her blog called “Caitlin Reads“, where she would “read a couple of books that fit a certain theme and then give updates as she read, which would include pictures from her real life in order to give the post more of a “reading vlog” feel.”
I loved this feature, OK. I also miss Caitlin and her posts A LOT and would simply cry if she was ever to return to blogging. But alas I digress.
Basically: I wanted to try my hand out at reading within a theme and also coming up with frequent updates about my read and share small snippets of life in-between. I don’t know if I will do this again, and I also have no idea if/how to title this series, but if you have ideas, let me know!
The theme for this one was: trying to find a new favorite author. So, basically, I decided to read a book by an author I had read at least once before to see how I *actually* feel about their work and if I would be inclined to read anything by them again.
The books I read were:
ISN’T IT BROMANTIC, by LYSSA KAY ADAMS. I have read The Bromance Book Club by this author and absolutely loved it! I wonder how I’ll feel about this one, considering most people who continued on with the series found the rest of them to be mediocre.
DARIUS THE GREAT DESERVES BETTER by ADIB KHORRAM. I really loved the first one in this duology, Darius the Great Is Not Okay and have been meaning to pick up this second one been ages! I’m very excited because hello, gay love triangle.
THE PARIS APARTMENT by LUCY FOLEY. I was not the biggest fan of The Guest List when I read it, but found it to be a solid thriller with spooky vibes. Will also be buddy reading this one with my sister, though I have no idea what it is actually about, lol.
ISN’T IT BROMANTIC BY LYSSA KAY ADAMS
Currently writing this in the subway, as a woman next to me sits with a bag that smells heavenly of Arab food. Anyway. I am only 20% into it and already absolutely thriving. I had no idea that this was a hurt/comfort story, as Elena has to take care of Vlad after an injury.
I love how well Lyssa Kay Adams writes about failed marriages. Althought this one is about a lot more, as it involves arranged marriages, foreign visas, journalists’ mysteriously disappearing in the middle of the night and a group of old ladies who hang out with a hockey superstar. Still fun, though!
Because today was not as blazing hot as every other day has been in São Paulo, I finally took my book outside of the air-con! I spent my lunch break by the shade and it was very hard not fangirling, as I was technically still in public.
Elena and Vlad continue to be adorable, but I also loved seeing the guys from the Bromance Book Club. They are all so fun and their dynamic together has always been my favorite thing about this series. So far, they have not disappointed.
What I will say is that I am 100% choosing to ignore every piece of character description that Lyssa Kay Adams throws at us. Vlad is supposed to be this tall, muscular guy with a beard and ridiculous amounts of body hair and I am ignoring all that and picturing him like Richard Madden in my head. Too late.
Today was pretty uneventful, so I don’t have much to share. But I will say that when it comes to the book, there are certainly a few things I don’t love. The first one is the amount of food references. I recently read another foodie romance (A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow) and I just really don’t like reading about food, lol. I wish this book didn’t have *that* many descriptions of cheese, soups and other Russian dishes.
Also, when it comes to the “book inside the book” – aka Promise Me, the war romance that Vlad is writing that mirrors a lot of his relationship with Elena -, I don’t love the idea of the guys writing the book, instead of reading one, and I think it’s mostly because it makes it too explicit that the book is Vlad’s self-insert character, when the fun of this segment is the hero organically learning from romance books.
Still, the bathtub scene between Elena and Vlad is ICONIC.
I had a *morning* today. Not only my train was stuck underground several minutes, but I also had to leave the wagon as a weird guy was bothering people and then every escalator was broken. :) I love public transportation so much.
At least the book is REALLY good. Like, REALLY good. Angst levels in a solid 9/10. However, I am very nervous about what the third act break up will look like, as everything seems too blissful at the moment, which obviously can’t last, considering there’s still 25% of the book left.
Still, I love the fact that the main conflict is so much about how “I don’t deserve you”, “I am not good enough for you”, “You’re better off without me”. I love this as a romantic trope and the book is delivering sooooo much.
My snack of choice will always be M&Ms and water. I can survive on it alone.
I am enjoying this one, of course, but I am slightly disappointed by how the book Vlad is writing is mirroring too much his circumstances with Elena, to the point where it’s kinda “meta”. I don’t like this at all? Like, when romance books are aware that they are romance books and mention the actual tropes throughout the story? Uh, no thanks.
I do love that, despite this being a failed marriage book, Vlad is not a hero that struggles with communication at all and he has the most swoon-worthy lines. I also have no idea if this is the last book in the series, but I would really enjoy to see Colton having his own story!
I am done with this one, friends! Today was a pretty chill day and I ended up re-watching the 2020 version of Emma as well, which is so iconic and great. Still thinking about the “hand-on-the-waist” scene and “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”
As for Isn’t it Bromantic, I didn’t love the ending that much. It was very thriller-esque and I stand by the fact that if I want to read a thriller, then I’ll pick up a thriller, not a romance. I still feel like a lot of responsibility was put on Vlad’s shoulders for not “fighting enough” for Elena, when Elena also had very glaring problems with communication that she never addressed?
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a fun ride and I would recommend it for fans of the series. I still prefer Bromance Book Club, but I certainly enjoyed the angst + hurt&comfort + the dynamic between Vlad and friends.
DARIUS THE GREAT DESERVES BETTER BY ADIB KHORRAM
Finally! I am continuing on with Darius’ story! I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up this book, but it’s finally happening.
Mondays are such busy days for me. I work until 3, then have keyboard classes at 4 and pilates at 6. I feel like an Upper East Side kid telling you my schedule of extracurriculars, lol. But yes, needless to say, by the time I’m home I want to do nothing, so I ended up reading very little today.
Nonetheless, I am so obsessed with Darius’ platonic relationship with Sohrab. They’re too cute!
Friends, it’s way too hot for me to function. Seriously. I hate summer and seeing the weather for the following days (in Celsius) makes me want to *** tbh.
As for the book, I’ve been finding the writing to be quite robotic, with a lot of “I did this”, “Mom did that”, “Dad said this”, and not a lot of emotion at all. But it does make it for a very quick read.
I don’t love the direction the love triangle is going, mostly because Darius’ relationship with Landon is something that happened off-page, so we don’t really see them falling in love. So far, I don’t care that much for their relationship, and if I’m being honest, it reminds me too much of Victor and Benji from Love Victor – a pairing I truly can not stand. Since all Landon and Darius have done so far is kiss and be interrupted by one of their parents, it’s not much I can work with.
So, as far as romance goes, this is getting really repetitive and really bad. All Landon and Darius have done so far is kiss – get interrupted by a parent or co-worker – kiss more – Darius gets uncomfortable and asks Landon to stop and then the cycle restarts. They haven’t had a SINGLE meaningful conversation. Literally. Not one. We know more about Chip’s life and insecurities and family and burdens and I know that’s probably the whole point, but oh my God at least *try* giving Landon a personality? Ugh.
On a more positive note, I got my tickets to watch The Batman in a week!!!! I am very excited for this one, mostly because I developed a Rob Pattinson crush since quarantine (I was more of a team Jacob as a kid), and the trailer for this one looks SO GOOD.
Today, the last episode of Love is Blind season 2 came out and let’s just say: as much as I was not shocked with the results, I am still SHAKEN at least by one of them. I also totally downloaded it to watch on the subway and almost missed my stop TWICE.
As far as the book is going, I am enjoying seeing the dynamic between Darius and his dad. It makes my heart warm seeing how much they’ve developed since book one and I also really love how the author has paralleled their experiences with clinical depression.
I am confused about the presence of Darius’ grandmas though. They haven’t talked about anything particularly meaningful at all and I am not sure as to what we’re supposed to make of this dynamic.
Today I went on a roadtrip with my family for Carnaval so I ended up finishing this one while on the road. (Also: peek this gorgeous sunset. Maybe I don’t hate summer).
I am glad I finished it, but oof, it was certainly not a favorite. I enjoyed how this book talked about grief and I definitely teared up at times, but the romance was so fucking frustrating to read about. The scenes were repetitive and the miscommunication was off the charts. I was also pretty bummed about how little we saw of Sohrab and it felt like his existence was mostly to help with Darius’ development, as he was basically given no plot or individual development whatsoever? Ugh.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This one was not my favorite. I was frustrated at the romance, disappointed by how Sohrab was written and found overall the writing to be very mechanic. The family dynamics and mental health rep were pretty good though.
THE PARIS APARTMENT BY LUCY FOLEY
This book is actually a buddy read I am doing with my sister this month of March. She has already finished the book (she reads so quickly!) and gave it 2 stars, so I am not hopeful I’ll enjoy this one too much.
So far, I am a bit confused by the narration, just because there are so many characters, but I am enjoying the audiobook experience and the short chapters. However, I didn’t find the setting spooky in the slightest. What I enjoyed about The Guest List, by this author, was how atmospheric the setting of this remote island was, but an apartment complex is not exactly the creepiest place and I don’t think the writing is helping too much in that department.
Peek me finally watching Hairspray for the first time. Yes, I had never watched the movie before. A blasphemy, I know! I am glad I finally watched it, though. Zac Efron looks sooooooo dreamy.
As for the book, I am still very confused by the narrations. I feel like more characters are being added every time I click play on my audiobook, lmao. The previous book I had read by this author had a premise where you didn’t know who was the murderer, but you also didn’t know who *had* been murdered. The Paris Apartment doesn’t have that element – you’re trying to figure out what happened to Ben, the protagonist’s brother -, but that’s pretty much it. I do like the French accent in the audiobook narration, though!
It’s the weekend, so I have been basically playing Ball Sort Puzzle while listening to the audiobook. Aside from this one, I am also obsessed with Gardenscapes and Bubble Buster and definitely guilty of spending way too much time on them when on my phone.
A lot has been revealed in The Paris Apartment that I did not expect. I do agree with one thing my sister pointed out which is, there’s a reveal halfway through the book and if you were to read the first half looking for hints of such reveal, you’d find none. However, after that, the tone changes immediately. It was basically the author omitting information for only when it was convenient to do so, which sucks when you’re in a thriller.
However, I like Jess as a protagonist and the direction the book is going overall is pretty interesting.
And, I finished it! Honestly, I am surprised at how quickly I flew through this book, and I think it’s a testament to how engaging and well done the audiobook was. If you can listen to it, I’d recommend it!
I did like the ending, as there were surprising twists I definitely didn’t see coming. However, if I was to compare this one to The Guest List, I’d say I prefer the latter, mostly because the atmosphere of it was much more spooky. I wasn’t necessarily thrilled by The Paris Apartment, I more wanted to figure out the mystery alongside the protagonist.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I didn’t like it as much as The Guest List, as it wasn’t as scary or atmospheric, but the characters are cool and the audiobook is pretty fantastic. I would consider reading from Lucy Foley again, for sure.
But, did I find a new favorite author after all?
I think it’s safe to say Lyssa Kay Adams is a solid romance author for me. Especially if she’s writing in the second chance romance/failed marriage trope, it’s safe to say I’ll enjoy it! Lucy Foley is also an author I’ll be on the lookout for new releases. Unfortunately, I’m not super excited to pick up Adib Khorram’s newest book though because of how :/ the experience with this one was. But I am not writing him off completely, considering some aspects of the book were really well done.
Do you have a favorite author you discovered recently? Have you read any of these books? If so, what are your thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments!