I may be a tad behind on bookish reviews on here and my bookstagram, but that doesn’t mean I stopped reading! So, without further ado, welcome back to Miranda’s Book Nook as I share some fall 2022 book releases that I can’t get enough of and which ones should be on your radar as you fill out your TBR lists. As always, happy reading!
Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun
After falling in love with Alison Cochrun’s The Charm Offensive, I was eagerly anticipating her next book and adding a holiday rom-com element just exponentially contributed to that.
Ellie had it all: A dream job in animation and a cute Christmas meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore, yes, a bookstore! However, her life soon comes crashing down after she loses her job and her new love at first sight. While working at a coffee shop to make ends meet, Ellie gets an intriguing offer from owner Andrew. The handsome businessman approaches her for a marriage of convenience and, in exchange for a large payday, the pair plan to get married so he can access his million-dollar inheritance. But first, they have to convince his family they are madly in love over their brood’s Christmas celebration at the cabin. And oh yea, the bookstore woman? She’s actually Andrew’s sister, Jack, and her feelings for Ellie are still there one year after their dreamy meeting.
Full of quick, witty and snappy language, Cochrun flips the traditional fake romance trope on its head for this one. It’s such a cute, fun and indulgent holiday rom-com that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s also more than just a romance with added sibling dynamics and a found family trope. While I wasn’t as into this one as The Charm Offensive, it’s still a very cute queer holiday rom-com.
Rating: Four Stars
Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton; Tiffany D. Jackson; Nic Stone; Angie Thomas; Ashley Woodfolk; Nicola Yoon
I absolutely adored these authors’ individual works AND their collective Blackout anthology, and so I was instantly intrigued when I heard about Whiteout. While Blackout takes place in New York City during a summer blackout, Whiteout heads down south to Atlanta during a snowstorm as a group of teens navigate first love and heartbreak. This book has a lot of flashbacks and backstory to get through, but once it does, it’s very fun and cute and perfect for fans of Blackout. These writers are exceptional at their craft, and Whiteout is certainly no exception and this book reads quite quickly.
However, something about Whiteout didn’t quite have the same magic as Blackout for me. I think that’s because there’s clearly a standout main character rather than an anthology of different stories having equal time in the spotlight. It made it seem, to me, like some love stories were meant to be more prevalent than others. That being said, each story was quite heartfelt and unique on its own, which shows that everyone is deserving of a big rom-com love.
Rating: Four Stars
Pride & Puppies by Lizzie Shane
If you know one thing about me, it’s that I’m a proud Jane Austen
nerd fangirl — and Pride & Puppies was just MADE for that side of me!
While Dr. Charlotte Lucas Rodriguez (yes, she was named after the Pride & Prejudice character) is struggling to find her real-life Darcy, she decides a dating ban is necessary after years of bad luck. And instead of a man, she’ll focus her efforts on adopting a puppy. While Charlotte is eager to bestow love and affection on her pup Bingley, her neighbor George — already a dog dad — is the perfect helping hand. The catch? He’s got the crushies BAD — including reading Jane Austen’s entire catalogue just to impress her even more.
Honestly, Lizzie Shane’s book had literally EVERYTHING I love in a romance novel — especially as an Austen fan — and I just wanted to savor every sentence, every paragraph and every chapter. And then at ending? Oh boy, did it make me smile!
Rating: Four Stars
Belittled Women by Amanda Sellet
As a big Little Women fan ever since childhood, I’m a sucker for a modern adaptation and Sellet’s novel certainly lived up to the hype.
Here, teen Jo Porter is fed up with all things Little Women and acting in her family’s live-action and interactive staged production. After a famous journalist and her son, Hudson, arrive at the Porters’ house to cover the performance, Jo gets a taste of the different life that she craves so fiercely.
It’s a fun and cute YA novel that puts a modern spin on Louisa May Alcott’s character but still pays homage to her OG characters and story. The language is easy to follow so it reads quickly, but it definitely remains a self-aware adaptation. The ending is beyond adorable and completely perfect for any other Alcott fangirls.
Rating: Three Stars
Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales
This New Adult novel is like The Bachelor meets royalty vibes, with an unexpected enemies-to-lovers twist and I was here for it. 100 percent.
Never Ever Getting Back Together is told in dual perspectives as both Maya and Skye are invited to join a new reality dating series, called Second-Chance Romance, as suitors hoping to woo back a former partner. The show’s lead is Jordy Miller, the younger brother of the woman who married a crown prince of a small Canadian province. While Maya and Skye are just two of Jordy’s exes competing for his love, they already have a sordid history as a trio, considering Jordy cheated on Maya with Skye (though he and Skye have denied it). While Skye is eager to for a second chance at love with Jordy, Maya is out for pure revenge with them both. However, things quickly change when Maya and Skye are assigned as roommates and ultimately decide to team up to take down their mutual ex. And in the process, they just might find something new with one another.
It’s full of compelling language that draws me in and was so incredibly cute. Despite its long length, this book reads quite quickly and doesn’t make me feel like a chore to want to keep reading. It’s very, very cute and fun, and so sweet.
Rating: Four Stars
Advance reader copies of the books listed were provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.