Review: If Only

I was provided a copy of If Only by Melanie Murphy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

So I’ll start off by saying that this post will contain spoilers. If you want to read my (short) spoiler free review you can check it out at this link on my Goodreads. I rated it 2/5 stars. I would recommend this book to people who like slow burn romances, the realness of someone who doesn’t have their entire life together, a little magic, and a lot of lessons.

ifonly

NOW ENTERING THE SPOILER ZONE

This book is about a woman who is turning 30 and has come to a rather low point in her life. She’s working in a cafe and has just broken off an engagement (cancelled the entire wedding too). Then she is given a family heirloom by her grandmother that gives her the chance to live an alternate day in her life “if only” she had made a different decision in her past.

Things I liked about this book:

Oh I really appreciated the relationship that Erin had with her grandmother and it absolutely broke my heart when she passed away. I mean I saw it coming from a mile away, the entire plot was really predictable, but it was still really sad. I do wish, however, that the author would’ve expanded upon the relationships that Erin had with her family. It just all seemed so surface.

I liked it when Erin was actually self aware about things that she saw in her “other lives” or in her own current life.

Her friendships were sweet, I liked that she had people there that truly cared about her and weren’t afraid to be there for her. Reid was endearing and unique and I really liked how loving Rachel was, she truly had a good heart.

And honestly that’s about all that I liked about the book…

Erin was so obsessive over the men in this book. It genuinely made me uncomfortable. She couldn’t get over Owen even though I know that she knew he wouldn’t ever stop being a playboy. He was not the type of person that would change his ways for someone. And she truly strung Dan along for far too long. Like I understood that he was what she was comfortable with but she needed to move on and just accept that it wasn’t meant to be, I mean that’s why she broke off the engagement in the first place! There were more than a few moments when I just wanted to smack her through the pages.

I truly think that the family aspect of this book was underdeveloped, as was Erin’s career. It was kind of sad to read about this woman who had seemingly no ambition for the majority of the story. I feel like it could’ve been a much more fulfilling story if she had spent time trying to turn her personal life around just as much as she was trying to turn her romantic life around. With how slow moving the romance was, the rest of the plot could’ve been filled with a lot more substantial stuff.

Overall, I think that I was just not the type of person to love this story. It felt like it dragged on, though I read it really quickly. I feel like there was just a whole lot of story that got overlooked because Erin needed to obsess over guys that wouldn’t give two thoughts about her. This had a lot of potential and it just didn’t do it for me unfortunately.

So, again, 2/5 stars. Not a horrible book but not one that I’d ever think to pick up for a second time. If you’ve read this or plan to read it, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts about it!

If you want to pick up your own copy, you can grab one at any of these links:

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

 

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Review: Again, But Better

Today I’m going to be reviewing Again, But Better by Christine Riccio.

Here’s the synopsis:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Prethoughts to reading this:

I am SO excited. I feel like I’m going to end up inserting myself into this book and loving it a bit too much, I did the same thing with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I studied abroad in London and I miss it so much and I already feel like I relate to Shane and her college “inexperience”.

I just read Christine’s note at the beginning and my heart swelled. If this story is what she says it is it’s going to be so great. Reading about someone who hasn’t “done it all” by 20 is going to be revolutionary for EVERYONE who has ever felt less than for not doing what it seems like everyone else is doing.

I got an autographed copy and I honestly still feel so hesitant about annotating books that are hardcovers or that are signed. It gives me so much anxiety even though it’s my own book that I spent my money on and I don’t loan books to people anymore so honestly, why should I care?

I’m also really nervous because I can’t help but wonder if this is going to be a really bad youtuber book but maybe this will change my mind from those thoughts. It’s just really frustrating to see things get so hyped up and then getting disappointed…

Okay… Today is March 8, 2019 and I am beginning Again, But Better… Let’s do this!

Immediate thoughts after finishing this the same day I began reading it:

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. I want to both love it and hate it at the same time. The story was just what I needed to read right now but at the same time there were so many things that made me either uncomfortable or just feel not happy with the general story.

Non-spoiler review:

After some long thoughts about this I’m rating the book 3/5 stars. Leaning somewhat towards a 3.5/5 stars but I’m rounding down because I just don’t know how I feel. There were some parts of this book that bothered me but I’ll touch on those in the spoilery section.

I loved how this read like a movie, it felt so real to me, I can definitely see Christine’s film background in this. Another thing I really liked was the banter between characters. I found myself chuckling quite a bit at the things they said to each other.

Now, would I have bought this book and read it had I not been following Christine? Yes, 100%. The book itself had a plot that interested me greatly. It was a story that sounded like I could relate to it and in the end it was. It showed a lot about learning about yourself and learning how to be your own person. It showed hard lessons to learn and how important second chances can be. Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think if you’re looking for a quick contemporary read then definitely check this out. This wasn’t the story of my dreams but even going into it with very low expectations that I would like it I was pleasantly surprise.

And lastly, I got one of the first copies that was printed so the end of her note says 2018 instead of Christine and I will be giggling about that for years to come.

If you’re interested in picking up your own copy, you can find the book at this links!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Next I’ll be moving into a more in depth review with spoilers included…

SPOILERS AHEAD: STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK AND DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED

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