Hi everyone! Happy July! I hope you all had a great Pride month despite everything going on! I had an okay reading month in general – some great books, some not so great books. I read quite a few Netgalley e-ARCS and I’ve decided to do another mini review for those that I didn’t manage to do a full review of! Unfortunately, these books weren’t exactly my cup of tea, but I thought I should review them nonetheless.
The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron
I was so excited for this book because I absolutely love small town romances and kind, open city girl falls in love with broody motorbike riding bad girl romances. Unfortunately this is one of the lowest-rated books I’ve read this year because, sadly, this book is only just okay. I couldn’t differentiate the two main characters, Jude and Iris, from any other romance book protagonists. They were so bland – Iris’ personality was just owning a dog, and Jude’s was being closed off and riding a motorcycle. There was absolutely no plot to speak of, which I normally don’t mind because I love character driven books. However, the two main characters were too boring and there weren’t any good side characters to save the book at all. To add to that, the writing was so lacking in emotions. Writing doesn’t need to be flowery for it to be good but there were no complex sentences, no similes, everything was straight to the point, subject, verb, object, next sentence and repeat. Even the small town atmosphere was lacking, which was a real shame. I did, however, enjoy the pacing of the romance, but that’s about it. I’m really sad that I was disappointed by this read as I was really looking forward to it but I’m sure there are many other f/f romance novels out there with much better characters and much better writing that you could read instead of this one.
Flavor of the Month by Georgia Beers
I was so excited for this book because it sounded right up my alley and so cute – small town vibes, a bakery, second chance romance – but I was having to force myself to get through it and I just wasn’t having a fun time so I actually had to DNF it. The writing style was something I really enjoyed about it but as for the rest of the book, it just felt too similar to other adult f/f romances I’ve read recently and I just felt my interest slowly waning. Like The Girl Next Door I really couldn’t differentiate between the two main characters’ voices and I really wasn’t a fan of Charlie in the slightest. Furthermore, I DNFed at almost 50% and the plot really hadn’t advanced much at all, which is why I put it down – I love character driven novels and don’t mind if there’s not much of a plot but since the characters weren’t great in this I had to put it down. It’s a shame but I’ll definitely be looking into some of Georgia Beer’s other works and I might give this one another go again in the future.
The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein
Unfortunately, I also DNFed this book, even earlier than I did Flavor of the Month, but I won’t be giving this one a second chance in the future. I’ve loved Elizabeth Wein’s books for many years now – Code Name Verity was one of my favourite books growing up and had the first sapphic character I’d ever read, and Rose Under Fire was both gripping and taught me so much about some of history’s ‘forgotten’ women. However, I am just so uncomfortable reading a black, Jamaican character written by a white woman, and Elizabeth Wein writing about racism and colourism as a white woman. Also I hate when people (who are blatantly not Scottish) try and write in unnatural Scottish accents, and it was, at times, almost painful to read. I did give it two stars because the plot seemed interesting and the atmosphere was excellent, as always, but if you’re going to read an Elizabeth Wein book read Code Name Verity, not this one.
I was really looking forward to all these books so its a shame I didn’t love them, but I have so many other Netgalley e-ARCs to read that I have much higher hopes for! As always, stay safe!