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Category Archives: Adult Fiction Reviews

Love Ain’t Nothing But Love | Romance Picks

This week has dragged a bit, hasn’t it? I’m blaming it on the very warm weather we’ve been having. Nothing like some sticky weather to get you in the mood for a romance novel, am I right? Okay. Maybe that transition sucks, but here I am. It’s been a summer of love for me. My […]

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July 23, 2015 - 4:14 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I’ve been craving romance lately, too. That’s all I want! I really want to give Maisey Yates a try. And her books always have the cutest covers.

A fork in the road | Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest

When I think back on a decision crossroads, I always go back to  the first big decision I ever made: where to go to college. If I hadn’t chosen my small liberal arts college near the beach, I wouldn’t have been kicked out and forced to go somewhere else because that college was in debt. […]

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December 31, 2015 - 10:16 am

What This Book Gave To Me, Estelle - […] keeping with the highs of the year, both Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer and Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid made me think of the steady females in my life (the golden old ones, and the […]

July 31, 2015 - 9:23 am

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Ah I love this review, Estelle! I’ll always be thankful that you introduced me to Taylor Jenkins Reid with your review of Forever, Interrupted. I’d hate to think that I might have missed out on these awesome books! I love what you’ve written about Maybe in Another Life, and I wholeheartedly agree with all of it. This was one of my favorite friendships I’ve read in a long time! I love that you call it “the best love story I could ever imagine.” SO TRUE!

July 23, 2015 - 3:54 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - *heart this review*

I love stories like this. Somehow I missed that Maybe in Another Life involved a character following two paths, but I know now and I am so excited to read it.

I think about crossroads like this all the time. Small ones like what if I never joined my college newspaper and big ones like what if I was never forced to quit a job and follow a circuitous path to my current place of employ. Or, even crazier, what if I never had to have an internship in high school and never started working in libraries at all?

I refer, in all seriousness, to Alternate Universe Emma who I sometimes suspect is a bit cooler than me (maybe with pink hair or the tattoo I’ll never get) but it’s hard to imagine–even with all the bends in the road and the uncertainty about other areas–that I’m not right where I’m supposed to be and on track to whatever big finish life has in store.

July 22, 2015 - 12:33 pm

Alexa S. - I loved reading your thoughts on Maybe in Another Life, E! You seriously have a way with words, and I totally feel like you expressed EXACTLY how this story made me feel with this post. So happy you loved it too!

July 18, 2015 - 11:31 pm

Amy - Putting this on my To Read list! I love “friend love” stories, and you are right, I don’t read about them often enough. It’s a special kind of love that doesn’t always make the best prime-time film, but all the early morning phone calls, “please-help” text messages, quick lunch dates are really what helps get me through life. Thanks for your review!

July 16, 2015 - 12:35 pm

Lauren @ Bookmark Lit - I’ve been resisting the urge to write incredibly lengthy comments on every single review for this, because I think about this ALL the time and talk about it way too much. I always alwaysss wonder where my life would be if I made different decisions (esp. in regards to college). Her books sound amazing and I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to them yet. I think this is going to be the celebratory book I buy tonight for my one year blogiversary! I need it in my life.

Small town lovin’ | Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

If this beautiful cover doesn’t inspire you to check out Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne, here are 5 reasons you should try it out the next time you’re in the mood for some small town romance: 1. You will fall in love with the town as much as you will fall in love with this couple. Sure, small […]

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July 17, 2015 - 11:56 pm

Chrystal - I just received an ARC of this book from my BFF. She gave me a box of books and this was one I was interested in. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to it soon, because it sounds so good.

Great review!

July 7, 2015 - 3:30 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I picked this one up at BEA, but haven’t read it yet. I’m so glad you loved it. Also, you had me at dog friendship!

Fiction lately (and maybe for your next beach day)

Hooray, it’s Monday (hope you had a good few days!) and also a few days before a holiday weekend. So I thought, why not share a few of the fiction titles I’ve tried out recently — just in case you are looking for something to read on your car trip, a stop at the beach, […]

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July 31, 2015 - 9:32 am

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - YAY STAY! I read that book in my early blogging days, and I loved it so much. I remember so many moments that made me laugh out loud, and I found the story so touching. I enjoyed Why Can’t I Be You, too, though this is my favorite of the two! 😉

July 5, 2015 - 9:11 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I’m so glad you liked Stay, Allie Larkin is one of my favorites. Now you just need to read Why Can’t I Be You!

June 29, 2015 - 8:04 pm

Cassie - YAY for STAY! I love Allie Larkin and can’t wait for more from her! Like you, I enjoyed Things You Won’t Say, but I felt a bit of a disconnect. It did hit me hard at times, but at others I felt it was lacking the huge emotional pull that I would expect from a novel with that subject matter.

ANYWAY: more for you to read this summer! I gave Barefoot by Ellin Hilderbrand a go, and I REALLY enjoyed it despise disliking the first I read by her! SO THAT. ALSO!!! EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave and OF COURSE Maybe In Another Life by TJR! READ THEM ALL!!

xoxox

June 29, 2015 - 12:04 pm

Alexa S. - Stay sounds really sweet! I definitely think I’d give that one a shot. I’m also really intrigued by French Coast, just because I’m so partial to France as a setting in the novels I read 🙂

The Status of All Things: It’s Complicated

Last Friday I was feeling pretty miserable — very down in the dumps — and I did something I rarely do. I tweeted about it. About how 2015 has not been a great year so far. The next day I deleted it. Why? Was I worried how being sad would make me look in a […]

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October 6, 2015 - 12:01 am

Beyond the Pages: Musings On Internet Life - […] picked this book up in the first place was because of a post by my friend Estelle who wrote a much more articulate and WAY more succinct post about this book that I highly […]

July 31, 2015 - 9:40 am

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I hope you know how much I loved this post! I wrote about in my June recap, but I just realized that I never commented and told you how much I enjoyed reading it. I’ve told you over and over again lately – your ability to write reflections about books and to tie them to your experiences is one of my favorite things about you and your reviews. For the most part, I only read reviews for books that interest me. But that’s not the case with you! I’ll enjoy reading ALL of your reviews, even for books that probably aren’t for me. You’ve got such a way with words, and I love how deeply you think about the things you read! <3

July 3, 2015 - 12:38 am

Holly J - Oh, I LOVE this post! I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, I have made so many genuine friendships with internet people (something I never thought I WOULD ever say). On the other, it can really affect my real life. Sometimes I spend HOURS, literally hours, on Twitter. I’ve been backing away more, trying to spend less time online. But it is hard, especially since social media is the biggest way I communicate with the friends I’ve made through blogging. It’s also hard too, because I’m not very open in real life. It’s easier for me to share things online. And I know that’s bad, and it’s something I’m trying to work on. Because it’s really hindered my IRL relationships. I don’t wanna put too much importance on a thing that shouldn’t have so much value. Social media has many positives, but it also has as many downfalls.

I think you hit so much of that in your post. I know I want to start stepping away as much as possible, because letting those days go by always spending them on social media and ignoring the people in my life is not worth it. As much as I love Twitter and my blogging friends (not that I would stop talking to them if I quit social media), sometimes I need to remember that I’m losing time with those I hold dearest to my heart.

Lovely post, Estelle! 🙂

July 2, 2015 - 3:51 pm

Looking Back on June 2015! | Bring My Books - […] wrote this really thought provoking post about social media; it’s pros, cons, and all the complicated feelings she has for it. (Note: […]

June 28, 2015 - 10:57 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - It’s hard to say that I hate the Internet and social media when I have a blog and many social media accounts and when I think it’s brought great people like you into my life, but still, I kind of do. I’ve definitely tried to distance myself from social media and keep proper perspective when I do dive in. I was looking through Instagram the other day and a friend of a friend or some blogger’s profile I was looking at said something like “this is my highlight reel” and, even though I had heard that sentiment before, I really liked the positioning of it in her profile.

June 27, 2015 - 5:12 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - Estelle, I always love how you can review a book while bringing it back to your own life. It’s something I find difficult and rarely attempt. This also reminds me of when my graduate school class left me (and everyone else) completely terrified of social media. I actually just set my Facebook to delete this week because I couldn’t take it anymore.

Between the social media aspect and the ideas of fate and causality, this one sounds really fascinating. I have no idea when I’ll get to it (so slammed with reading) but it’s going on the TBR list right now.

June 26, 2015 - 11:21 am

Laura @ Scribbles & Wanderlust - I’ve had this same issue — throwing a feeling out into the world and later deleting it — for about 4 years now. We see the internet as a safe outlet to expose our feelings and find comfort from others for the sudden, jarring difference in our usual daily communications. But then we don’t get a response from the faceless mass, and it makes us feel worse. So why DON’T we speak to family and friends, or write it down privately? That always brought me comfort before, so why this compulsive need to share it with the world that won’t respond back? Who knows.

But at the same time, there’s that guilt for sharing something “out of the ordinary.” Which is so bizarre, because we’re all human, we all have our days. And the internet has turned our online identity and presence as a brand. We’ve branded ourselves. For me, it’s always talking about books and lit agent stuff, and now it feels weird to talk about anything other than that online. But that’s not who I am. I’m a musician, a traveler, a friend. Yet I rarely, if ever, talk about other activities. A deviation feels weird.

Anyway. This was an excellent post. (And now I’m super curious about that book.)

June 26, 2015 - 11:08 am

Ellice Y - I love this post, and I love YOU, E. And ironically, I wouldn’t even know you if it weren’t for the Internet and this technology that you’re referring to. That said,there are times when I think it’s okay, maybe even HEALTHY, to step away from one form of social media or another for as long as you need. For me, Facebook is the form of social media that often causes the feelings that you described. Does something that Suzy posted about her “perfect” life have me so distracted that I miss the good things in my own life? I try to keep that in mind. I also try to remember that social media can create a majorly false image–you only see what people want you to see, and pictures can be very deceiving. Keeping that mentality keeps me from going crazy in this world of over-sharing! Also, if I’m feeling disconnected because I don’t have time to be on Twitter (which is where I talk to some of my best friends) much because of work,I find it nice to revert to “old-school” email (how insane is it that just sending an email feels old-school now), and even more primitive, snail mail to keep in touch. That might be an option if you ever choose to back away from social media a bit? Selfishly, I hope that you never do because I love being able to talk to you through different mediums– but you have to do what makes YOU happy. That’s most important 🙂

This is SUCH a rambling comment, and I hope you can make sense out of it. Would it be incredibly ironic to tell you to text me or email me? Haha. MUAH!

June 26, 2015 - 10:46 am

Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things - This post is totally on point! 😀
Lovely post! XD

June 26, 2015 - 10:41 am

Alexa S. - I have so much to say regarding this post, but it all boils down to: I agree 100%. There are both advantages and disadvantages to social media and the internet, really. I can’t say I’d ever really be able to give it up completely, but I do think that being thoughtful and intentional about how and when I use it is a habit worth cultivating.

June 26, 2015 - 10:28 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - This is an EXCELLENT topic. I’ve really been feeling all of these things lately. Especially as a blogger (who’s a bit too obsessed with her blog and the book community), it’s really hard for me to disconnect… but I kind of have disconnected personally. The internet is just an easy place to say something quickly and leave it out there for anyone to see. Maybe you tweet something because you need to get it off your chest or just want someone to reply… But happy or sad, beautiful or ugly, any tweet/post/photo will be seen by many and consequently assessed. I like what you said — it really is just pieces of your life. I don’t share a LOT on social media because that’s my personal business and I’m not that close with ALL of my Facebook friends and the 3000 people on Twitter who follow me. It doesn’t need to be shared. I try to pick and choose the personal things because I do like showing that personal side of myself and allowing people to see who I really am but I try to stay away from the negative (especially when I see so much negative myself).
It’s REALLY hard not to “judge” (I put it in quotes because I don’t have a better word) who people are on social media from their posts. I’d like to think I know a certain person well but then again, I have no idea what happens in their personal life. It’s so hard to draw the line on how much to share and who you share it with.
And YES it’s so hard to put the phone down. I kill time with my phone. I’m so, so awkward so it’s my excuse not to talk to strangers/make small talk. (It’s not BECAUSE of social media, though. I’ve always been shy and had a hard time making small talk.) I try very hard to make sure I’m not ignoring my husband and I try to keep my phone put away when hanging out with friends (unless we’re at a book event or something in which case we’re all checking what’s going on and who is where). It’s really hard! You feel like you’re missing something if you don’t… And the sense of immediacy I think it what’s starting to kill those personal, face-to-face friendships. I know I feel the need to constantly check my phone for missed texts/tweets/emails but then I miss the people I’m with (which let’s face it — I actually have less time with them to begin with).
I guess I said nothing new but it’s really interesting to think about and talk about! I’d love to pull away from social media and technology every once in a while. I do try to take breaks… but it’s always hard to leave and feeling “missing”!

June 26, 2015 - 10:28 am

Cassie (Happy Book Lovers) - I love this piece so much. I felt this way during my senior year of college. I was so overwhelmed with everything and not doing so great, and I was upset about my usage of social media. So I did a little experiment and it ended up being so liberating. I turned my phone off.
I still carried it with me because emergencies may happen, but it was off and in the bottom of my backpack. I got through hours of studying so much faster, spent more time reading and talking to friends, and I was so happy with the result. I think every once in a while, it’s good to just unplug, even if it’s just for a few hours. 🙂

Why in 5: Linda Lael Miller’s The Marriage Season

The Marriage Season by Linda Lael Miller  ( web | tweet ) Published May 26, 2015 by Harlequin HQN Pages: 304 | Target: adult Keywords: remarriage, small towns, single parents, best friendship Summary: Bex is always taking care of someone else; it’s about time she starts paying attention to the good looking single dad she keeps bumping into (whether […]

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June 17, 2015 - 12:20 pm

Christy T - The last great romance I read was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas!

June 16, 2015 - 12:57 pm

christy - Beautiful cover! I just finished a so-so NA romance and am currently reading a romantic suspense. As far as favorites this year, I enjoyed “Burying Water” by K.A. Tucker and “Cookie Cutter” by Jo Richardson.

June 15, 2015 - 11:05 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I so, so, so need to check out Linda Lael Miller. Where should I start?

June 14, 2015 - 4:26 pm

Grace @ She Reads Things - I usually don’t read adult romance books (YA is my choice of poison!), but this book looks great! I’d say that the last books with a good romance component that I really liked would have to be The Longest Ride and the Nantucket Series. I absolutely adored those books!

-Grace 🙂

June 13, 2015 - 5:49 am

Leah - Do you do this to me on purpose, E?! I seriously need to get on board with the Linda Lael Miller love – every single book that you have reviewed has sounded fantastic and absolutely perfect for a lazy summer day. (Though I was be all over an Abe Lincoln book!)

Eep, going through my shelves, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve read a straight up romance novel. Sure, there have been books to include a romance (The Sound of Glass, The Last Letter From Your Lover, Seraphina, etc) but the last ROMANCE novel I read was in 2013. Surrender to Sultry by Macy Beckett. Two years ago. Help me, Obi-Wan Estelle. You’re my only hope.

June 11, 2015 - 9:26 am

shokufeh - I just finished the Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, and keep thinking about it. It’s not classified as a romance, but is definitely about love (and the challenges that may be involved).