Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

I meant to review this one last week, but since Night Owls and Summer Skies came out right when I got the eARC and I need to get the salt out of my system, I temporarily put it on hold. But worry not, here’s the review now, and it’s leagues better than the former novel! 😉 Though it wasn’t without its flaws, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss was an adorable, friends-to-lovers rom-com.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Amazon.com: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss ...

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss–Amy Noelle Parks

Caleb and Evie have been friends since childhood, but while Caleb seeks a romantic relationship with her, Evie thinks she has better things to do than dating. Their paths lead them to a prestigious, math and physics oriented school, where Evie flourishes–both in her academic endeavors, and in her budding relationship with Leo, a boy from her class. But as her talents begin to be noticed, her anxiety shows its face more than ever.

Caleb, meanwhile, is desperate to win Evie over. Now that she’s dating Leo, there seems to be no chance of them getting together–even though he almost kissed her 17 separate times. Can they still remain friends, or will Caleb’s true feelings tear them apart?

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Amulet Books/ABRAMS for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

🚨 THE ADORABLE SIRENS ARE GOING OFF LIKE CRAZY, FOLKS, WE HAVE AN ADORABLE RED ALERT, I REPEAT, AN ADORABLE RED ALERT 🚨

What I’m trying to say is that The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss is an incredibly sweet rom-com that’s simultaneously cute and handles some tough topics in a very genuine way.

I couldn’t help but root for all of the characters! Evie was my personal favorite–we’re very different people, to be sure (I mean, she’s going to a math-oriented school, so that’s already a major divide), but I found her to be an incredibly relatable and poignant character. And although I don’t have any experience with an anxiety disorder as she does, the representation of it seemed realistic without info-dumping or being overtly preachy. Caleb was sweet too, and he and Evie had wonderful chemistry. I’m not usually drawn to the friends-to-lovers dynamic in romance, but their relationship was incredibly well-executed.

As much as I loved the characters, there was one thing that bogged down a tiny bit of the novel…

Ladies, gentlemen and others, we’ve fallen into another love triangle trap.

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I mean…Leo was okay…but the addition of the love triangle to the story made it frustrating at times, and it was clear from the start that he and Evie weren’t meant to be. Even though it was kind of a vehicle for Caleb’s personal journey to win Evie back, I still wasn’t quite a fan of that aspect. Maybe it’s more of an “It’s not me, it’s you” problem here, since I just despise love triangles in general, but this one was at least more tolerable than most.

Other than that, my only problem about The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss was the very end. I can’t quite place what made me temporarily lose interest, but the ending felt a little bit rushed for reasons I can’t place. Again, maybe it’s just me, but I feel like too much was crammed into the last 80% of the novel or so.

But all in all, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss was a sweet and heartfelt romance with genuine and lovable characters. 3.5 stars!

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Release date: January 5, 2021

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That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life

Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

This was my second eARC from Edelweiss+. I hadn’t heard of it beforehand, and it sounded like a cute rom-com. But while it delivered on some aspects, it ultimately fell incredibly flat for me.

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Enjoy this eARC review!

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life–Dani Jansen

High school senior Alison Green is desperate for the title of valedictorian of her class, and this year, she’ll do anything to take the top spot. What she didn’t anticipate was her teacher’s offering for her to direct the yearly play–this year, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From the beginning, the play is a disaster, with a limited budget, drama between the cast members, and her hopeless crush on the girl playing Queen Titania. Will she be able to pull together all the elements and make the play work?

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Second Story Press for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Let’s start out with the good portions. First off, representation! Alison (protagonist) is a lesbian, her love interest is pansexual, there’s several gay side characters, and another side character is Korean-American. So props to Jansen for making an effortlessly diverse cast.

And on that subject, an aspect of the book I quite liked was the romance…while it lasted. Alison and Charlotte were ADORABLE together, and even though, without spoiling anything, things don’t go according to plan, it was still cute for a short while.

Now, for the rest of the book…

YIKES.

Right off the bat, all of the characters are flat, as is their dialogue. They were all but cardboard, unrealistic caricatures of what human beings are supposed to be like. As a result, there’s almost no way to connect with any of the characters. All the attempts at tackling certain issues ended up being weak and flat, and anything but thought-provoking.

Aside from this, The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life didn’t seem to have any sort of resolution. There wasn’t any real moment of learning from one’s mistakes on Alison’s part, which would have given the book far more meaning. In short, she failed (several times), but she didn’t do anything about it. There was pretty much no character development. At all. None.

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And other than that, I felt that Alison was so, needlessly self-destructive. What with her learning from none of her past faults, there are COUNTLESS moments where she pushes away her loved ones, and is surprised when they’re mad about it. Whether it’s the play, her family relationships, her actions toward her best friend, or her budding relationship with Charlotte, there is a BOATLOAD of selfishness and self-destruction. I get it, there’s usually some element of it in many rom-coms, but there was so much of it here that it only served to drag down the plot and make Alison all the more unlikable of a character.

All in all, rom-com that had some positive aspects, but ultimately was nearly as disastrous as the play adaptation in the novel. 2 stars.

Release date: September 22, 2020

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!