Hey, Look! 7 More New Books That I Devoured This Spring

The end of the month has been hectic for me, to say the least. And so, unfortunately, my March TBR took a hit and wasn’t as productive as earlier months this year. Well, those work deadlines have passed and I’ve gotten all settled into my new apartment (including setting up my bookshelves and new book cart!), so I’m ready to dive back into my April reading list. In the meantime, here are a few of the books that drop this spring that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. Welcome back to another installment of Miranda’s Book Nook as I share more 2021 book titles that I can’t get enough of for your TBR lists this year. Happy reading!

You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes

Years ago, I was captivated by the pilot of Lifetime’s drama You (way before Netflix picked it up, in case you were wondering). After just one or two episodes, I immediately hit the library to read the novel the show was based on and was equally captivated. Then, I tried to read her second novel, Hidden Bodies, before Season 2 and after the first season ended on Lifetime, but alas, the library had a long waiting list and then lost the copy that should have been rented to me. So, over time I just forgot about it. Then, I saw a description for this third book on NetGalley recently and instantly recalled how much I loved the first one. Plus, the premise sounded interesting and unique.

Here, Joe has moved away from LA post-Book 2 and has settled in the Pacific Northwest, ready to start over. He intends to volunteer at the local library, where he’s enthralled with single mother and librarian Mary Kay. He intends to woo her over, the right way and not resulting in any of his past tricks. As I read, I’m immediately drawn back into Joe’s world and mind thanks to Kepnes’ fantastically well-written prose. There are many bombshells in this slowly drawn-out novel. It’s chock full of compelling language, and I just wanted to know what would happen next!

Rating: Four Stars

Available: Now


Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

One thing about me: I’m a sucker for a good Pride & Prejudice story, whether it’s the original text, a movie or TV adaptation, or a modern retelling. No matter what format, P&P is a classic in its own right and one I will watch or read any time I can. So, when I saw this book’s description on NetGalley, my eyes went wide. Literally. It’s like P&P, but a murder mystery and thriller. Ooo, yes, please!

Here, Lizzie Bennett is an aspiring lawyer who’s trying to prove innocence for her client and Mr. Darcy is the opposing counsel and the heir to the prestigious Pemberley Associates firm. It’s a teen mystery novel, full of compelling language and juicy dialogue. It’s a thrilling twist on a story we know and love, and that twist changes everything you thought you knew about the ending. A quick, engaging YA Regency mystery novel.

Rating: Four Stars

Available: Now


Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Ever since I first found and devoured Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game, I was hooked on her compelling writing style and language with its delicious trope, witty banter, and fun dialogue. Then, I ordered a copy of 99 Percent Mine as soon as I hit the last page and soon devoured that one too. Upon hearing her latest release was coming out this April, I was instantly excited to read this next story.

The wealthy yet eccentric Parloni sisters are back searching for an assistant to help them with various errands throughout the days. The job seems easy yet, somehow, most male employees can barely make it through a week. Ruthie Midona works at the front desk at the retirement home and is forever at the sisters’ beck and call. She is yearning for a managerial promotion, so she’s focused on proving to her boss she can handle running the place on her own without any hijinks or hiccups. And perhaps she can easily keep her happy little place safe from the new owner, Prescott Development. And even find a nice boy to date, if there’s time. One day, someone dazzling rolls into town on a motorcycle, covered in tattoos, and he spins Ruthie’s world upside-down. Enter Teddy Prescott, who’s dedicated his life to sleeping, tattoos, and avoiding seriousness. Looking for a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer father to stay in one of the villa’s on-site maintenance cottages (right next door to Ruthie) if he agrees to work there and start to grow up. Ruthie has just the job opening to satisfy the elder Prescott, keep this selfish rich boy out of her hair, and only around for about a week.

I was beyond pumped to start this book and see what this forced proximity and opposites-attract romance had in store. While it was a bit slow to start for me (much like 99 Percent Mine), I did find the writing compelling and engaging that kept me willing to continue on the characters’ journey, true to Thorne’s style of her past works. Seeing how Ruthie and Teddy’s connection grows deeper with time was fun and lovely. While it’s no enemies-to-lovers story and they’re no Joshua & Lucy, it is Ruthie and Teddy; a fun love story that’s all their own! As I got into this slow-burn romance, things eventually start to develop thanks to plenty of rich language and authentic characters that I couldn’t help but get sucked into it. Then, oh baby, it picks up steam about halfway through. While it does get steamy, much like her first novel, but it’s not that raunchy, and I’d call it “tamely sexy” for a romance novel. Then, the ending was absolutely precious in terms of a love story/HEA but also for Ruthie as an individual finding her path. Yay for self-growth storylines!

Rating: Four Stars

Available: April 13


The Break-Up Book Club by Wendy Wax

This was a quick, women’s fiction read that I devoured in just a few days and quite enjoyed. Here, four women have little in common but attending a weekly book club in a vintage Atlanta-based bookshop, which brings them together as they bond over reading and the notion that their lives aren’t turning out how they planned. There’s former tennis star Jazmine who’s a top sports agent who’s balancing work and single motherhood, empty nester Judith questioning her marriage, Erin who’s engaged to her high school sweetheart before he proclaims he has cold feet, and Sarah whose husband works out-of-state which leaves her home alone with just a difficult mother-in-law as a companion.

Through books, laughter, and friendship, these women learn how to navigate new chapters in their lives. From reading, I was equally drawn into each woman’s perspective and voice, all have compelling and relatable sides I enjoyed learning more about. It’s a compelling read, and I didn’t want to put it down as there are some juicy bombshells that I needed answers to, which heightened the raw and emotional drama. It reads quite quickly, and I liked it with all the engaging yet relatable language. I loved seeing how this book club brought them together in this novel about friendship. Then, the ending: While, I liked it to a degree and felt it did wrap things up in an empowering way, I just wanted more and to see where these characters’ journeys continued.

Rating: Four Stars

Available: May 18


Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park

I was so excited to start this read based on the cover design, author’s past work, and summary, and reading it totally lived up to the hype! It’s such a fun, cute, yet authentic and diverse YA novel.

Here, Sunny Song is a small influencer based in LA, but when she accidentally goes viral, her parents put their feet down. They send her to a digital detox camp on a local farm in Iowa. She absolutely doesn’t want to go, but instead comes up with ways to grow her social following. While there, she ends up making unexpected friendships and meeting a cute farm boy that teaches her all about the connections she can make while disconnecting.

While reading, I found this novel has so much engaging, relatable language that draws me in, as well as authentic characters that leave me curious. It’s a fun, easy, and light YA adventure set at a summer camp, so like score one for this book. Then, there’s the precious and cute farm boy Theo who makes my heart melt, too. All in all, I couldn’t put this read down and it’s just so adorable.

Rating: Four Stars

Available: June 1


The Marvelous by Claire Kann

I had few expectations of this book before starting, other than the premise sounded interesting. But as I started reading, I soon couldn’t put it down!

Here, an elusive heiress and social media app founder Jewel invites four of her site users to her estate for some “Golden Weekend.” There’s megafan Luna and her best friend Alex (since she’s 15), Nicole the big influencer with thousands of followers, Stella the user no one knows but she has very strict parents, Harlow the last girl invited no one really likes, and Francis who’s the mysterious late arrival with secrets of his own.

These users all get a GW invitation to spend the weekend at Jewel’s mansion, but there’s a catch. They have to play some game full of riddles and challenges for a cash prize. This story is all very mysterious but intriguing, thanks to some dishy and engaging language that has me hooked. While it may be a tad confusing at first to keep up with all the shifting viewpoints that aren’t easily labeled, I still really enjoyed this one. I don’t think I’ve read a single book like this one and I liked it for precisely that reason. All in all, it’s so captivating that made it unputdownable.

Rating: Four Stars

Available: June 8


We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

After recently finishing her adult romance, The Ex Talk, I was definitely excited to read Solomon’s latest New Adult/Young Adult book, made more exciting by the premise. Here, Quinn is a teenaged wedding harpist who’s disillusioned with love and helps out with her folks’ wedding planning business, while hopeless romantic and king of the grand gesture Tarek works for his family’s catering company. So, naturally, their paths keep crossing.

Last summer, Quinn confessed her crush for her longtime pal in an email but never heard back before he went off to college. When they see each other again, they clash for sure. After they keep getting thrown together at wedding after wedding to save the day from potential disaster, Quinn realizes her feelings might not be over him just yet. It’s such a quick, fun, and cute read that gives off Sarah Dessen vibes to me. It was a tad predictable at the end only, to get the HEA, but other than that, it wasn’t too much for a teen romance, and I did quite enjoy it.

Rating: Four Stars

Available: June 8


Advance reader copies of the books listed were provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

44 Thoughts I Had Watching Lifetime’s “Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance”

One thing about myself: I’m– err, is “obsessed” an okay word to use here– okay, fine, obsessed with cheesy Lifetime romance movies, and specifically royalty themed ones at that. I devour them all, with pleasure. Sometimes you just need to kick back and watch a feel-good, happily-ever-after film to calm down and relax, right? Especially in today’s stressful times. So, at the mere announcement that Lifetime would make another made-for-television movie chronicling the courtship and eventually engagement of the Royal Family, needless to say, I was excited. I mean, I loved their Will & Kate love story movie that aired back in time for their 2011 Royal Wedding starring Grey’s Anatomy surgical resident Camilla Luddington as the future Duchess.)

So, in preparation for the Royal Wedding later this week, of course I had to watch Lifetime’s “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance” in all it’s cheesy goodness. Starring Parisa Fitz-Henley as the former Suits actress (I mean, doppleganger alert!!) and Murray Fraser (although the Scottish actor is not a natural ginger) as the famed prince, it’s definitely all I imagined a royalty-themed Lifetime romance movie to be, with some, err, questionable moments of “um, did that actually happen?” cushioned around cheesy romance movie goodness, and the ultimate scene stealers of Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s adorable onscreen counterparts.

Lifetime

Now, sit back, relax and watch how Harry met Meghan (come on, you knew that pun was coming!) and read on for a random collection of my thoughts and musings from watching your next royal-themed guilty pleasure.

Okay, here we go:

  1. We start with a young “Prince Harry”, post-Diana’s funeral on a safari with his “Pa” and big brother. Um, did that Harry running away, next to a growling lion actually happen? Because, terrifying.
  2. “Diana” and little “Harry” sneaking donuts in the palace, aww.
  3. A young “Meghan Markle” starts her feminist agenda early on, and YOU GO, Young Meghan!
  4. Jump ahead, Markle is Rachel Zane shooting Suits and giving her two-cents on how to make Rachel more empowering; Go, Meghan, Go!
  5. Flip to London (still in 2016), where “Harry” is out partying and clubbing. Err, wasn’t that years before they met and not mere months?? Um, continuity.
  6. Was the only casting requirement for Prince William that his hairline must be receding? Because that’s like the only similarity between the actor and the Duke of Cambridge.
  7. Haha “Charles,” “After the Nazi costume and showing off the family jewels in Las Vegas…” HA HA HA.
  8. What’s with this whole painting Will and Kate’s marriage as stiff?? Like, no, they are happy IRL… Come on, Lifetime. Who’s buying that?
  9. Back to “Meghan” in Suits land, the couple’s mutual friend “Violet” sets the two up. “Is he nice,” Accurate. “Is she hot,” Come on, like Harry actually asked that? In 2016, he wasn’t into the partying/wild side anymore. Eye roll.
  10. Look at “Harry” being 40 minutes late, and “Meghan” isn’t having any of it. Bam.
  11. Is it me or is Murray Fraser a bit more attractive than the actual Prince Harry? Er, sorry not sorry…
  12. This first date is quintessential Lifetime/romance movie. And I love it. Definitely scripted truly to be the “best blind date ever.”
  13. Haha, “Meghan” just oh so casually reading The Crown, as “Harry” (who introduces himself on the phone as Harry… Mountbatten-Windsor when she feigns remembering him lolol) pauses a scene of Suits… Haha well done, writers, well done.
  14. DUDE, THEIR SECOND DATE IS A TRIP TO BOTSWANA TOGETHER. Um, where do I get my own Prince Harry???
  15. BABY “GEORGE” AND “CHARLOTTE.” Best (and cutest) characters!! I mean, so adorable.
  16. That lion metaphor, aww perfectly timed with the film’s Mother’s Day premiere. I see what you did there, writers.
  17. HA HA “Harry” comparing “Meghan’s” story of being biracial to being “a ginger in England” with some truly terrible bad jokes… And are we to believe that Meghan has never heard of the term “ginger??”
  18. Is this super-light, PG-13-type sex scene the one that the Royal Family was worried about? Because, it’s fairly tame as far as sex scenes go and it’s kind of a Lifetime/romance movie staple scene…
  19. “Glass ceilings not glass slippers.” YESSS. Love it.
  20. Everything is so quintessential Lifetime movie, and it’s perfect and cozy and familiar and enjoyable.
  21. Her HAIR stylist could only come up with a frog costume? Like he couldn’t have done something with a mask or glasses and change his recognizable red hair??
  22. “Meghan” meeting “George” and “Charlotte” is the cutest!
  23. Who TF is this “Bella” person? Because, I don’t like her snobby attitude at all.
  24. Oh yes, the statement that confirmed their relationship… Did he write it himself? Did he really threaten to tweet it himself? And did Meghan truly have no clue he did it??
  25. Post media frenzy, where did he find her?? Is she, and her mom, in Toronto? Or in California? Where was the lower third for this scene?
  26. “Because I’m a grown-ass woman living in the modern world.” Preach, girl.
  27. Her mom “Doria” is the best.
  28. HAHA that beanie.
  29. What’s a romantic movie without a running-through-the-airport-to-get-their-love-back scene?? But so romantic and effective.
  30. Flip ahead to “Pippa Middleton’s” wedding. Except she’s wearing a version of her maid of honor dress from Will & Kate’s wedding??
  31. There’s no way Kate actually called it a “no ring, no bring” policy..
  32. The casting for Charles and Camilla isn’t that great…. LOL
  33. This romanticizes their whole relationship, and I’m squealing. I love it. Such a great romantic, guilty pleasure watch.
  34. Also, how was the racist brooch incident, “Meghan” meeting “Charles” and “Camilla” for the first time and discovering “Kate” was expecting little Louis all at the same time at “Pippa’s” wedding???
  35. “You should have been able to be together from the start.” THEN YOU AND “WILLIAM” WOULDN’T HAVE EXISTED, “HARRY.”
  36. Haha “just a royal thing,” how very vague, “Harry…”
  37. Wait, he proposed in Africa? No, where’s the roast chicken in their Kensington Palace cottage??? Granted, it’s still romantic, but no it’s factually inaccurate.
  38. Omg, “Meghan” signing the little girl’s autograph. So cute, adorable.
  39. “Always tell your mom, everything.” Perfect for the Mother’s Day premiere date! And a true statement.
  40. The corgis!!!! Awwwww so cute.
  41. Geez, finally, the roast chicken proposal! Speaking of, what’s her recipe? Always looking for a good dinner recipe. Because I’m very limited on my kitchen skills.
  42. “My grandson, HRH Prince Henry of Wales, will be marrying a divorced, African American lady. Everybody on board?” YES, LOVE THIS “Queen Elizabeth II,” YOU GO GIRL.
  43. LOLOL and watch “Harry” and “Meghan” seamlessly blend into footage of the the actual royal couple at one of their first joint appearances for the ending scene (just like in the William & Kate movie).
  44. So happy. So cute. Awww. Just as you are supposed to feel about a Lifetime and romance movie.

Now, that’ll keep us tied over until we can watch the Royal Wedding livestream and savor over the wedding pictures this weekend.