The Other Woman

Let’s begin with an embarrassing story.

I have seen this book all over the bookstagram world. It was touted as a thriller, but the front cover has a wedding dress. Purely judging a book by its cover, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

Trying to make new friends on instagram once I created @stacks_and_snacks, I commented on a picture of someone who liked it and said “I had heard of this and felt (totally judging based on nothing) that it would be meh. But I’ve seen nothing but good reviews – I have to check it out!” Little did I know, the author was tagged in the picture, and she commented back “Really hope its better than meh for you!”

So I had to see what it was about.

My Synopsis: Emily is ecstatic to be engaged to the love of her life. Her soon to be mother in law doesn’t quite feel the same.

Pairs best with: These peanut butter protein balls I saw on every wedding blog when I was getting married. I’m sure Emily scoped out a few wedding blogs since she had a wedding to plan in such a short period of time! This was the first time I made them, and honestly, they’re so easy and so delicious (2/3 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup ground flax seeds, 2 tablespoons honey. Mix everything up, fridge for 20 minutes, roll them into balls. Then they can stay in the fridge for up to week).

Brief Review:

This book. The entire time, it was a solid 2 stars. The end saved it, brought it up to a 3 because it wasn’t as predictable as I thought it was going to be. 

What really bugged me is that Emily and Adams love story wasn’t built up enough. He kept doing shitty things, but nothing happened before to make me understand why she stayed with him. I hate weak protagonists when it comes to men, it makes it hard for me to get through a book. 

I also wouldn’t characterize this as a thriller. 

Overall, 3 stars, because the end twist was good, but getting there took a bit.

Extended Review: *SPOILERS AHEAD*

Midway through reading this, I took out a notebook to write down some things that were bugging me so I could remember to rant to you about them. So buckle up. *Cracks knuckles*

Like I said in my brief review above, I really can’t stand weak female protagonists. Emily was the definition of THAT girl (tied with Lucy from The Light We Lost, but I digress). This wasn’t entirely Emilys fault. The love story between Emily and Adam wasn’t developed enough that I could understand why she was still with him. Every time he did something shitty, she had to stay with him because she loved him. But why?? Why did she love him?? I couldn’t get behind that. Give me some reasonable doubt – fine! But there was nothing.

The whole love story plot with James made no sense throughout the book. By the end it gets kind of wrapped up, but throughout the whole book I was so confused why James was flirting with her. It also made no sense that she was feeling guilty about it. Having a crush on your boyfriends brother is weird, I get that, but she went to dinner/lunch/coffee (or whatever it was) twice with her future brother in law. Is that really so weird to feel THAT guilty about? No.

Okay, this is just a bone to pick in general with the last approximately 8 books that I read. WHYYYY oh why oh why do authors throw in a surprise baby and think “oh baby (pun), what a twist!” Seriously. It’s at the point where someone in a book has sex, and I automatically think “well, now they’re pregnant.” And I’m usually right. Guess what, thats not how it happens! Well, technically it is, but you know what I mean.

While we’re on the topic of her pregnancy, she woke up projectile vomiting for an entire day and thought “I must be pregnant.” Then at 2 months, she was feeling well enough to go out at night with her friends. This was just too convenient. You don’t have one day of throwing up to alert you to your pregnancy. Either you’re REALLY sick for at least 10 – 12 weeks, or you’re not projectile vomiting for a day straight. Obviously everyone has different experiences, but take it from this 26 week pregnant mama-to-be, thats not the most realistic take on this.

The second thing that I wrote down when plotting annoying points was “Adam sometimes agrees with his mom, especially on Seb, and its annoying. He sucks.” So I won’t say I predicted the ending (I didn’t figure it out until they wanted you to, I thought the end was a good twist), but I can see where the hints were!

The end did save the book. About 10 pages before the reveal, I thought “oh, the mom was doing it to protect Emily,” and she was. It was still effing weird, there are better ways to protect her, but whatever. It was a twist I didn’t see coming. I thought the mom killed Rebecca and that was that. But I always do enjoy a good twist.

Did the twist make it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. About halfway through I wanted to give up. I started to read this thinking it was a THRILLER and being really tired of the weak protagonists I’d been reading about in romance stories. But… this had the same situation. I wouldn’t consider this a thriller. As my best friend (and fellow bookstagrammer – @skyflyreads – follow her!) noted, sometimes the classifications of books can make or break. I was expecting a thriller. And while the end was unexpected, I didn’t spend the whole book needing to know who did it.

So if you want to read this book – go for it! Just don’t expect a thriller, or any strong female characters.

It Ends With Us

I’ll start my first blog post with an older (if 2016 is older) classic. I just finished this one, and have so many thoughts!

One thing you will learn about me is that I HATE to read the description of a book. Sometimes, it gives too much away! So instead, I will give my own brief synopsis, followed by my quick review, and then my extended review (with spoilers). So if you haven’t read this yet, stop before that last part!

My synopsis: Boy meets girl. Girls first love was a VERY complicated relationship that gets mixed up in the new relationship.

Pairs best with: Chocolate chip cookies. Atlas makes Lily chocolate chip cookies when they’re kids (before going on to become a chef – note the knife set in the background). I don’t know about you, but chocolate chip cookies are enough to make me fall in love with anyone.

Brief review:

This was my 4th love story in a row (by accident). I start each of the love story reviews with “this is not my normal type of book” because it’s really not. I find love story protagonists to be really irritating and often weak. That was not the case with this book – I loved this. I found her to be strong willed and proactive. It also bugs me in stories about love triangles when someone is married to one person but still hung up another and I didn’t feel that was the case in this either. I thought all feelings on all sides were justified. 

I think it was the dark plot line of domestic abuse thread into the love story that really hooked me. Highly recommend.

Extended Review: *SPOILERS AHEAD*

This book was suh good! It had a good love story, but more importantly it tackled the unconformable issue of domestic abuse. Lily grew up in a house where her father abused her mother, and somehow found herself in a similar (though entirely different) situation. I loved that she was able to analyze the differences between her relationship and her parents, without making excuses for Ryle.

While we’re on the topic of Ryle. WHAT KIND OF NAME IS RYLE. Thats not a name. I have two exboyfriends – one was named Ryan and the other was named Kyle. Was she trying to combine these?! Because Ryle is not a name. And while we’re talking about names, Emmy Dory is a terrible name. But I digress.

I LOVEEDDDD that she didn’t stay with Ryle in the end.

I hate in books with a love triangle how they always make the spouse seem like the bad guy without any solid evidence that he is. It always seems like the girl doesn’t really love him, but if you can’t be with the love, (try to) love the one you’re with. It drives me crazy! In this case, I fully believe that Lily loved Ryle. I enjoyed reading her struggle of whether or not to stay with him, and I loved that in the end she chose to do what was best for herself and her daughter.

I also like that her relationship Ryle wasn’t ruined because of Atlas. It was because of Ryle. He wasn’t mentally stable enough to be trusted. And while Atlas was there and helped her, he wasn’t the root of the problem.

Thats why I loved this book. It took a common love triangle premise, and brought in so much more depth. I didn’t find the main character weak or question her decisions at all throughout the story, I commiserated with her and wanted what was best for her throughout.

Did you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!