Friday, April 21, 2023

Friday Fives - Five Short Reviews for Books I've Read Recently

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. This week I'm sharing 5 quick reviews for books I've read recently.

1.  A Hard Day for a Hangover (Sunshine Vicram #3) by Darynda Jones - This is the 3rd book about Sheriff Sunshine Vicram and it was by far my favorite.  One plot point from the 1st 2 books is tied up and there is now communication between all the major players which is super nice.  I've liked the 1st 2 books but the pacing was so fast in this one and there were some crazy scenes that I found myself coming up with extra chores so I could get some extra listening in which is the sign of a really enjoyable book!  This is a series that is best read in order which won't be a hardship!  My Rating:  Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)

2.  The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood - I really loved the premise of this book.  I love that the characters were graduate students and up.  It has all the fun of a school setting but the characters are adults and not teenagers.  I loved Olive's friends and how supportive they all were of each other.  As well, I loved the relationship that formed between Olive and Adam.  Adam has the reputation of being harsh and exacting and while he stays true to character I found him easy to like and connect with.  I loved Olive.  She's smart and pretty and such a good friend but I wanted to reach into the book and shake her for the majority of it.  She has no confidence in herself and misses all the signs that were so screamingly obvious that the pumpkin spice latte she was drinking could see them.  I think I would have gotten less impatient with her if there had been more progress slowly through the book.  I really liked that protocols of dating in a school/workplace were addressed and they took care to never be in a situation where Olive was beholden to Adam in some way.  I really loved the last quarter of the book (though there is a spicy scene that is decidedly NOT fade to black) and will be reading more from the author.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

3.  Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman -
I've had this book on my TBR for years and finally picked it up.  My primary experience with magical realism up to this point is Sarah Addison Allen's books but have read enough Alice Hoffman to know this isn't going to have the same feel as those books.  For the most part I liked this.  The characters were interesting and complicated with ever changing bonds with each other.  I liked how the theme of sisters reoccurs with the aunts, then Sally and Gillian, and then Antonia and Kylie.  All of that said I didn't fall in love with this book nor did I ever feel connected to the characters or the world they lived in.  I think I would have enjoyed this book much better if had either been shorter or had more depth to it.  If I had felt connected to the world the sisters lived in I wouldn't have found the pacing to be almost stagnant at times.  If it had been faster paced I wouldn't have missed the depth of the story.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

4.  Close Up by Amanda Quick -
I love this series and this one did not disappoint!  Vivian was an interesting main character.  She was a passionate photographer and dedicated to her career as an artist as well as paying the bills a freelance crime scene photographer.  There is quite a lot about the different sides of the argument about photography being an artform as well as the politics in the art world.  Nick is a private investigator with an ability to read people and have incredibly vivid dreams that tell the future.  It has complicated his relationship with most of the people in his life leaving him leading a mostly solitary existence.  Together Vivian and Nick make a great pair.  They work well together and are able to communicate clearly and understand each other.  The mystery of who is out to kill Vivian kept me pulled into the story and it was quite a roller coaster ride!  I was very glad to see that Vivian's sister is in the next book and I'm looking forward to getting to know her a bit better and spend more time in Burning Cove.  If you enjoy romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal and a old Hollywood setting this book and this series are a good choice.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)

5.  The Hollow by Nora Roberts -
This is the second book in the Sign of Seven trilogy and focuses on Fox and Layla.  All six characters have met and realized they needed to join forces and they know what they're fighting and why.  The how is still a bit shady but they're working on it.  In a lot of ways Layla is the weakest link in the six.  She doesn't have long running close friendships with anyone else of the six and she's struggling to wrap her head around what's happening and the fact that within her history is both light and dark.  Fox is a great character.  He comes from a large artistic family and is practical but with a genuine desire to really help people.  It's hard not to love him.  The six are in the middle of research and desperately trying to figure out just what to next.  There is enough progress in the story - both in the battle and character development - to keep me engaged in the story.  I can't wait to read the next book and find out just how the story comes to an end.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)


  1. The Darynda Jones' books have been on my wishlist for awhile. They sound really good.

  2. I loved Olive and Adam from The Love Hypothesis! They made such a fun couple. :D

  3. Please read the two Practical Magic prequels. They were glorious! I always tell people to watch the Practical Magic movie instead of reading the book, ha ha. 😊