How About Some 4 Star Mini-Reviews

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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How About Some 4 Star Mini-ReviewsThe Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
Published by Simon Pulse on June 7, 2016
Genres: Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship
Pages: 256
Format: Kindle
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon

In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.
Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.
Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.
Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.
But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

dinogif The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder was a sweet look at first love and what can happen when it does not end up like expected. Penelope (Pen) has had the same two best friends since elementary school. Eph the boy who has always been there for her and Audrey her other half. Pen does not need anyone else in her life but then the charming new guy Keats appears.

I really enjoyed Leder’s style of writing, she was able to merge friendship, romance, heartbreak, family issues and more in a cohesive story that never seemed dumbed down. I also loved the graphics of the “museum” items that accompanied the chapters. They were vague enough that you could not quite guess the ending but specific enough that you knew something was coming. The world created was also vivid and the descriptions top notch. I could picture the players well and visualize where they were placed.

Pen was alternately charming and frustrating and I really enjoyed reading her journey. There were a few moments that made me want to shake her as it seemed like she deliberately went down the wrong path, but hey there needs to be drama somewhere. For the most part though this was a very cute read that I really appreciated. First love and first heartbreak is never easy, but Leder made it enjoyable.

Favorite lines – But then there was this: What if I stepped forward, what if I took his hand, what if I said it back? What if there were stars falling and orange embers dancing in the air around us and our eyes burned with smoke and our feet hurt from the heat and around us dinosaurs were roaring in pain and we curled around each other, keeping each other’s heart safe?


I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How About Some 4 Star Mini-ReviewsThe Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 7, 2016
Genres: Thriller & Suspense, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: Kindle
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.
Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.
Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.

kidnapped I was unsure what to expect with The Leaving by Tara Altebrando. The hype for it was everywhere and I was intrigued by the unique plot. Six kidnapped kindergartners, eleven years pass and five kids return with no memories of the time away; sounds interesting right? And it was. Told in alternating voices, some like Avery whose brother Max was taken and some taken like Scarlett who can’t figure out why her home doesn’t feel like home anymore.

One of the key story lines is of Avery, whose brother is the only one of the six to not return yet. Her story weaves throughout the others and provides a strong voice that helps balance out some of the intended confusion. I also liked how strong Scarlett and Lucas were, they provided a nice contrast and I enjoyed seeing them reach the conclusion.

This definitely did not seem like a book over 400 pages as it was so fast paced. I did not love the big twist ending, as I felt that it did not quite fit the intrigue of the rest of the book. It seemed like it was wrapped up very quickly and I wanted a little more tension. Other than that thought, this was a very engaging read and I loved how unique the plot really was.

Favorite lines – Talking was a good distraction from feeling her heart was being broken without warning. A balloon that had a tear in it before it had even had a chance to fill up and float.


I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How About Some 4 Star Mini-ReviewsOne True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Washington Square Press on June 7, 2016
Genres: Sagas, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 352
Format: Kindle
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.
On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.
Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.
That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.
Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?
Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

truelovereturned One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid sounded like the book version of Move Over, Darling which was cute, so I figured it would be a sappy rom-com book. I was wrong and I am glad I was. Emma lost her first husband, Jesse, in a tragic helicopter accident on their first anniversary. After moving back home and trying to heal she runs into an old family friend Sam. Sam helps Emma come back into her own and they fall in love. Cue the engagement, the celebration and the return of the long-lost husband.

First of all, the plot line about the husband lost at sea; there is no way that that is believable right? Wrong! It made so much sense in the scope of the story. I must applaud the author as to make such an outlandish scenario ring true take talent. Second, you will pick a team, it will just happen. There is Jesse the high school sweetheart who is presumed dead and there is Sam the sweet man who picked up the pieces of Emma’s grief. You will root for one and cheer when it seems as if the story is headed down your path. Then, if you picked the same team I did, you will be sad, then angry, then accepting but slightly disgruntled when your team loses.

Third, this was a really good read. I enjoyed the drama and the love that infused the book in equal measures. What seemed outlandish actually made the story more powerful and each moment fed very well into the others. Even though I was cranky as Emma picked the wrong man, I loved the path she took to get there.

Favorite lines – Do you ever get over loss? Or do you just find a box within yourself, big enough to hold it? Do just you stuff it in there, push it down, and snap the lid on it? Do you just work, every day, to keep the box shut? I thought that maybe if I shoved the pain in there hard enough and I kept the box shut tight enough that the pain would evaporate on its own, that I’d open the box one day to find it was empty and all of the pain I thought I’d been carrying with me was gone.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Debut Author Challenge
  • 2016 New Release Challenge
  • Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
  • The Goodreads Challenge

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Posted June 10, 2016 by Laura in Reviews / 4 Comments

4 responses to “How About Some 4 Star Mini-Reviews

  1. The Leaving looks really interesting – I like the originality of the story. As ever, thorough and articulate reviews. Thank you for sharing:)