May 2023 Wrap-Up

May Wrap-Up

It usually doesn’t take me THIS long to write a monthly wrap-up post, but I haven’t been my blogging best in May, so this actually feels on brand. While I wasn’t too happy with my output on the blog, I was quite content with other matters, e.g. reading. Let’s start with all the books again.

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on StoryGraph, which I adore more and more as an alternative. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

My reading spree is still alive and well. In fact, I’m currently somewhere over 90 days of continued reading – go me! I really think that it’s an ingrained routine at this point and I usually read a minimum of one chapter. Depending on the book the length can obviously vary, but I thought that kept me going at a nice pace.

A chart showing the dispersion of the 1280 pages I have read in May over the course of the month.

Now, I’m on track with the number of books, especially since my May reads were a little on the longer side, but I’m still hopelessly behind on my page count goal. At this rate, I doubt I will catch up, but never say never.

A chart showing that I have read 19 out of the 45 books I have set as my yearly goal. As well as me having read 5784 pages out of my 15000 page count goal for 2023.

 

In Other News

I got very lucky with my work schedule in May, which made the month fairly chill and I couldn’t be more grateful. I can see June and July being quite taxing, but unfortunately you can’t store relaxation in advance. Either way, I was outdoors a lot, I got my steps in (had 2 weeks straight up of walking 10K+ steps every day), I went to museums and even got back into the gym. All in all, a pretty well-rounded month, eh?

Am I back to being a F1 girlie?

So, growing up, my dad watched all sorts of sports and I know a fair amount of rules and regulations and players in certain sports. There’s very few that I’ve liked and there’s definitely been phases … however, I was always into racing movies (Michel Vaillant, Fast & Furious …) and F1 is truly something my country excels in in terms of sports. Meaning, I was always kind of into F1 – I still have my keychain from the GP in Canada 2017 – but I never lived that out loud. SO HOW DID TIKTOK KNOW??? The platform just one day started showing me videos and now 80% of my For You page is F1 videos … the memes have overtaken my life!

But if you’re not into the sport per se, maybe this will … pique your interest?

Prepping for the upcoming TEN YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!

That’s right! Life and Other Disasters is turning 10 years old in June and I cannot believe I’ve been here this long. Blogging has changed a lot over the years, there’s no denying that, but I’ve also been around for so long that it’s hard to come up with ideas for celebrations. If you have any questions you’d like me to address, let me know! I plan on officially publishing the celebratory post later this week!

Watching all the Aussie TV!

ALL the Aussie TV is truly such a lie, but I did binge In Limbo (fantastic show that will make you cry) and am currently making my way through The Messenger (an adaptation of Markus Zusak’s novel of the same title). If you have any Australian TV recs, now’s your time to shine, because I’m all ears! Will also take shows and/or movies from New Zealand!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you’ve had a chill May as well and a great start into the month of June. It’s already been close to a week. Time’s just flying by!

Witch King by Martha Wells (Book/ARC Review)

Witch King by Martha Wells

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Tor Publishing
Page Count
: 432
Release Date: May 30, 2023

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: war, violence, death, slight body horror, torture, confinement

I, like many others, am a fan of Martha Wells because of her wildly popular novella-series the Murderbot Diaries. She always manages to create multi-faceted characters within a rich world-setting that you just want to know more about, so I was really excited to check out her latest Fantasy release – Witch King.

The book started out with such a BANG! There was action, the promise of intricate relationships and a hint at betrayal in the past. I was ready to jump in, but the longer the story went on, the less I found myself invested in the plot. To me, it felt like we were introduced to Game of Thrones-level political scheming, but without the necessary time to really get acquainted to the world and understand the mechanics and connections. Granted, there is a list of notable characters provided at the very beginning of the book, but I still struggled a bit with distinguishing the territories and abilities/power people held.

Told in the Past and the Present, I appreciated the many parallels that could be drawn between current events and what had already transpired. Sometimes certain chapter endings were meant to lead you astray and make you doubt characters, which I thought was a fun element of the dual timeline, but it didn’t always work out perfectly. Certain reveals just didn’t hit right, because we e.g. already knew what someone was capable of in the present.
Also, the final reveal was just not shocking or as satisfying as I would have hoped with the build up. The “betrayal” had been built up the entire time, just to not feel as weighty and personal as I had expected.

What I will absolutely give credit to is the found family aspect of the story and the lovable characters. I almost wished we just got more scenes of them hanging out and interacting rather than chases around the world in search of items and people alike. They had such fun dynamics and I would have loved to see even more of the initial “getting to know”-stages of their relationships.
The way the characters were portrayed also really normalized different gender and queer identities and I enjoyed that aspect quite a bit.

Fazit: 3.25/5 stars! An interesting world that unfortunately didn’t quite light the spark in me.


Are you going to read or have you read Witch King? Did you read other books by Martha Wells? Let’s chat!

The Only Purple House in Town by Ann Aguirre (ARC/Book Review)

The Only Purple House in Town by Ann Aguirre

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca
Page Count
: 368
Release Date: July 11, 2023

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: family disputes, prejudice, hate groups, mention of dead parents and bullying

The Only Purple House in Town is the fourth book in the “Fix-It Witches”-series, although I didn’t know that diving in. So, let my review be a testimony to the fact that you can read this novel without having read the previous books. You might miss some cameos from former (lead) characters (which there are quite a few) or take some getting used to the world the characters inhabit. It didn’t take me too long to find my bearings, but without prior knowledge on the magic and in-world developments, I found the synopsis for the book to be a bit misleading.

In the realm of The Only Purple House in Town, we can exhibit a world quite similar to ours. This isn’t high fantasy after all. However, witches have decided to out themselves and they aren’t the only supernatural beings – shape shifters, vampires, fae and the like all exist as well. I wasn’t fully prepared for that kind of mayhem, if I’m being completely honest. I did love that it lead to a beautiful found family trope, which was my favorite part of the story.

Although the tale is mostly told from Iris and Eli’s perspectives, it was their housemates and the side characters that made the story come to life. I also enjoyed the wide variety of queer representation that just felt very naturally ingrained in it all. Seeing those people be in a bind and find a place they not only feel welcome and safe in, but actually at home at was great and heart-warming.

Speaking of matters of the heart, that’s what I had some quarrels with – the love story between Iris and Eli! I just can’t get over the fact that Eli had basically stalked Iris since he was 11 years old, because she did something nice for him once. I get that it was a big deal for him and most of his actions throughout the novel are well intentioned, but that doesn’t change the facts. And fact is, Eli dedicated a lot of his free time thinking about Iris, looking her up on social media, deceiving her and moving in with her, all the while she had no idea they had even met prior to their roommate interview. It’s not a good look and I don’t really get how fast Iris did a 180 and just brushed it off as “well, I’m not perfect either”. Let’s not make stalking okay, just because the guy is nice in the end, alright?

Over all, The Only Purple House in Town was an easy, fast and (for the most part) sweet read. A lot of the relationships are fairly cut and dry and there could have been a bit more nuance for the villains (they really were just mean/evil). Again, I much preferred the friendships to the romance, but that’s just because of Eli’s actions.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Found family will always hit the sweet spot for me.


Have you read any of the “Fix-it Witches”-books? Do you plan to? Let’s chat!

Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson (ARC/Book Review)

Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Penguin UK
Page Count
: 240
Release Date: May 11, 2023

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: depression, racial profiling, police brutality, grief, death of a loved one

Caleb Azumah Nelson’s debut Open Water was one of my favorite bookish discoveries last year and my appreciation for his writing has only grown after reading his sophomore novel. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Small Worlds hit me even harder and has cemented him as an auto-buy author for me. 

Dealing with music and family, love and loss, Small Worlds follows Stephen through various life stages in three consecutive summers. While we still get the author’s signature second person POV in parts of the novel, most of it is written in first person and brings us all the closer to Stephen’s world of emotions. As always, the poetic prose is just so beautiful to read, but at the same time there was an added element of repetition that really served to highlight how cyclical life can be. It also makes you feel everything tenfold – Caleb Azumah Nelson never fails to make his characters’ experiences feel authentic and relatable, be it joy and laughter or pain and sorrow. It is the balance of all these elements – and the way they intertwine – that makes Small Worlds work so well.

I especially enjoyed the focus on family in this one. Family is a complicated beast and Small Worlds truly showed every facet of that. I liked the way sibling-, parental- and mother/son or father/son relationships were depicted. It felt so nuanced, layered and steeped in generational history.

I gaze at my parents, and see that a world can be two people, occupying a space where they don’t have to explain. Where they can feel beautiful. Where they might feel free.

Tender, vulnerable and refreshingly open, I always enjoy Caleb Azumah Nelson’s portrayal of Black culture (in the UK). This one felt special in particular to the many music references, which gave it an extra spark of life. Truly, everything this man writes is just a big recommendation from me!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! No notes – this was a stunning book!

Rating: 5 stars


Previous reviews of Caleb Azumah Nelson’s work:


Do you plan on reading Small Worlds? Have you read the author’s debut? Let’s chat!

April 2023 Wrap-Up

April Wrap-Up

April – on the blog – didn’t really go as planned. It really took me a lot of time to get some content out, but towards the end, I managed to post a bunch of reviews. I’m pleased to still (sorta) be on track with my reading. Let’s dive into what I’ve read this past month! It’s quite the random collection, if I dare say so myself:

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on StoryGraph, which I adore more and more as an alternative. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I think it’s fair to say that I have established a regular reading habit by keeping up my streak of reading at least one page per day for 57 DAYS now! It might not seem like the longest stretches of time, but we all have to start with the little steps to get there. I’m definitely not the fastest reader anymore, but I am consistent. Here’s what my April looked like in terms of pages:

A chart showing the daily pages read in April 2023

In terms of my reading goals, that means I’m right on track with the number of books and still wildly behind when it comes to the number of pages. Reading just 2-4 pages might keep my streak going, but it does not do much to help with my 15,000 page count goal. Maybe I did just aim too high … OR I will make it later this year.

 

In Other News

April came and went like so many other months. The year started out so slow, but now everything just keeps passing me by. While there were some really stereotypical April days, I think the spring-like weather helped with my mood and just generally spend more time outdoors. That, in turn, helped lower my stress levels and I feel like I ended the month much calmer and with a generally better attitude than in a long time. I just wanna believe that good things are happening.

I Went to Another Book Event

I don’t get to go to very many bookish events where I live, so this was another special one for me. Abla Alaoui is a successful German musical actress with Moroccan roots, who happened to publish her first novel. She currently playing Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame musical in Vienna and luckily also did her first ever reading there.

With about 70 people present, it still felt like a very intimate affair with loads of her friends from the musical business stopping by. She read quite a few parts of the book and all of them sounded funny and relatable. I’m really looking forward into diving in – which is a rare occasion with German books for me.

You can find more info on “Bissle Spätzle, Habibi?” here.

   

I (sorta) Participated in Camp NaNo

I signed up, I wrote the first couple of days and then I just forgot about it? I don’t know if you can call it participating or not, but I have 3,721 words more than I had before the month of April, so I will count it as a success. I’m eager to get the first three chapters done as I want to share those with a select few readers before diving further into the story. We shall see how that goes …

I Got a Bit Obsessed with TikTok

Yeah, I downloaded TikTok. Yeah, I now have an account (which you can find here) and it really sucked me in the way I always knew it would. Since I’m not really focused on creating content – I’m just messing about with that part a little bit and have already managed to have terrible timing with the videos I did make – I really like what the algorithm has put together for me. So far, it’s fun! I think, as long as I don’t let it take over my life, it should be fine!

I Fell in Love with Movies Again

This might sound weird, but I don’t know if any of you actually know what my job in Berlin was. Either way, to this day, it was my favorite job I ever had. I was part of the distribution chain for movies and I loved going to the cinema. I’ve lost that sense of wonder about movies a little in the past couple of years, but I got to watch an Austrian film and I just fell in love all over again. I found a trailer with subtitles and it’s a really quirky one, but I’m so glad I got to see it on the screen and see my city be utterly romanticized.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you’ve had a fantastic and relaxed start into the month of May! Did the uptick in sunshine hours also help you get some motivation back? Let’s chat!

Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind by Molly McGhee (ARC Review)

Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind by Molly McGhee

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Astra Publishing House
Page Count
: 272
Release Date: October 17, 2023

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: depression, suicide, poverty, death of loved ones, emotional abuse

I’m pretty sure I heard about Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind via Twitter. It didn’t have a cover yet – and I can’t say that this is the cover I pictured for it – but I immediately added it to my TBR and jumped at the chance of reading an advance copy. So, I’m grateful for that opportunity.

From the beginning, the narrator’s voice is quirky and presents Jonathan Abernathy with all his lovable traits and flaws to us. Abernathy is quite the indecisive and passive character, an anxious yet optimistic people-pleaser on top of that. All of which makes sense considering his history, while simultaneously making him quite infuriating at times. Possibly that is why I found it hard to connect with him and the other characters. Or, maybe, it’s because we were being told so much of what was happening.
Don’t get me wrong, some stories need you to tell instead of show things. I totally get that, but here I felt we were told everything – even the things that didn’t end up happening.

Regardless of how much I actually connected with the characters, I thought that the concept was really fascinating. As a vivid dreamer myself, I loved exploring other peoples dreams and what taking them away meant for them. Even if all of this is fiction, I can see some truth behind it. Add the hard-hitting realities of poverty and capitalism, and you have quite the mix. I definitely mean it as a compliment when I say that I got Black Mirror and Severance vibes while reading the novel, albeit Abernathy tried to keep it more upbeat.

In the end, I found the story and its themes really interesting. It was a quick read that muddled reality and dreams in the later stages, offering a hard-hitting resolution. I wish I had connected with it a bit more, but I still think it offers a lot of food for thought. Maybe I’ll even dream about it …

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Interesting for sure!


Have you heard about Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind before? I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a book so early on … Anyway, the official April wrap-up is coming tomorrow. Stay tuned!

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Se-hee (Book Review)

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Bloomsbury UK
Page Count
: 209
Translator: Anton Hur
Release Date: June 20, 2018

CW: depression, mental health issues, body shaming

When I saw this book – a very colorful hardcover with a quirky illustration – in the store, I thought it sounded like it could potentially be heavy, but I also knew I had to have it. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I regret buying this book, but I do think that the cover led me astray a little bit.

Let me start by saying that this is non-fiction. Everything in book is either a transcript from a therapy session the author had or a summary of their thoughts on certain themes. I understand that this is deeply personal and don’t feel like I can judge the content all that well. However, there were a few components that I struggled with and that I would like to convey to you:

  • I’m not sure if it’s the English translation or because the content was shortened, but the conversations between the author and her therapist felt incredibly stilted. I couldn’t imagine people actually talking like this in sessions, making fairly big generalizations and barely ever digging deep.
  • Speaking of the therapist – they gave a diagnosis after like three sentences exchanged and I didn’t find that particularly professional. I, personally, consider it a bit of a red flag when someone tries to diagnose you after not even a whole session – and does so with certainty and authority – but again, I’m not sure how much of the actual conversations was cut.
  • The book was marketed as part memoir and part self-help-book and I don’t really think it was either. Again, I want to point out that this was a very personal book, I’m sure, and that there might be some cultural differences that I don’t fully understand, but it all just felt a bit … adrift. There was no real direction and I didn’t feel like the author received actual guidance or coping mechanisms that could potentially help them or others.

As someone who can understand anxiety and wanting to please people etc. I thought that I would find this book more relatable, but only parts of it really resonated with me. I can still see it benefiting others, but it wasn’t a good fit for me. If this helped you and you feel comfortable talking about it, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Unfortunately, not a hit with me.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Do you plan to? What is a non-fiction book you’ve picked up lately?

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry (Book Review)

you and me on vacation by emily henry

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Penguin UK
Page Count
: 368
Release Date: May 11, 2021

CW: sexual content, death of parent, grief, mention of bullying

Look at me go, I finally read an Emily Henry novel! While some of you are probably familiar with the title “You and Me on Vacation“, others might now the same book by the name “People We Meet on Vacation“. I, personally, don’t know why they didn’t stick to the same title in all territories, but I prefer the UK one, since it feels more fitting for the story (and it’s the one I read).

Mixed between present tense and past, we get to experience Alex and Poppy’s relationship and how they went from friends to strangers and back again with some added romance. I love a good friends to lovers story and I also – not so secretly – enjoy when people are a bit too silly to realize they’ve been in love all along. Basically, there’s mutual pining for no other reason than these people not communicating well. Their feelings felt authentic and I definitely understood why they were so drawn to each other.

Like, I really understood their connection and enjoyed these seemingly mundane interactions. They were two deeply lonely people, who didn’t realize they were lonely until they met each other and just … clicked. It’s a beautiful thing to find someone you can be so unabashedly yourself with.

“I wish I could bottle this moment and wear it as a perfume. It would always be with me. Everywhere I went, he’d be there too, and so I’d always feel like myself.”

What I had some issues with was the main conflict. They really were propping up that fall out from two years ago and it takes a very long time until you find out what actually happened and it’s … so dumb. I, to this day, can’t believe they stopped talking over this. It feels weird that that was the “breaking point” of sorts and it felt disproportionate to other things that have happened.
The thing is, their issues were valid and real. They had to work on themselves in order to work together again, but the last minute therapy sessions and confession were rushed and odd. I was rooting for them for most of the book, but would have wished for a differently structured third act. It’s always the darn third act! *shakes fist at the sky*

“And that’s how it is in real life too. You can love someone and still know the future you’d have with them wouldn’t work for you, or for them, or maybe even for both of you.”

Anyway, I had fun reading You and Me on Vacation, just not the most fun ever. It did make me want to go on vacation though.

Fazit: 3.75/5 stars! It was good, but it could have been better.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


RUMORS ABOUT THE FILM ADAPTATION

Now, here’s a little insight as to why I actually picked up the book. You know me, you’ve probably been here for a while, and I simply cannot resist a book to screen adaptation that might include an actor I love.

Well, rumor has it that Calahan Skogman – also known as Matthias Helvar from the Netflix adaptation of Shadow & Bonemight play Alex. I don’t think he necessarily looks like people imagined the character, but I could 100% see him embody Alex. It’s mentioned like so many times how fit and tall Alex is and Cal is that for sure. Add to that Midwestern charm and that kind of quiet but secretly weird personality, he got this.

I’m not quite sure how people honed in on him potentially being Alex, but Emily Henry and Calahan certainly follow each other on instagram and have interacted a lot. Now … I definitely wouldn’t be mad if Danielle Galligan were to play Poppy either, but that’s probably wishful thinking on my part. Do you have thoughts on the potential casting?


Have you read this book? Are there other Emily Henry romances I should check out? Let’s talk!

March 2023 Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up

March really came and went like it was nothing. I found it to be quite the busy month, so I didn’t read as much as in previous months. I’m still doing alright though, I believe, seen as I finished the Lovelight series up to the latest installment.

   

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on StoryGraph, which I adore more and more as an alternative. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

My page count buffer, the one I so happily talked about last month, is gone in its entirety and then some. I’m still ahead or on track with the number of books I’ve read, I’m just massively behind in terms of pages. We are talking about something in the hundreds here …

I have been VERY consistent with my reading in March though, because The StoryGraph did me a solid and introduced the streak feature. You have to actively enable it on your profile, but it allows you to set a goal of how much you want to read per day and then help create a regular reading habit. I’ve read at least 3-4 pages every. single. day. in the past month and now have the stat sheet to prove it.

 

In Other News

I’m not sure I have all that much to tell you about life in general. I’m trying to use my leisure time for all the things that bring me joy without exhausting myself. It’s a delicate balance, but I’m trying to make plans and get out there – the sunnier weather sure helped! But what else is new …

I Got a New Phone

For others, this might seem like a not-so-special occasion, but I’ve had my previous phone for more than 7 years and it was still working fine! The only problem was that I couldn’t really take high quality pics with it or update certain apps, because the model was just too outdated. So, I sprung for a new phone and now use my old one as a music player still. Because, 1) transferring all my music would take up so much storage and 2) I like to listen with headphones that have cables and new phones don’t have no way to use an aux cable anymore???

Daisy Jones & The Six

I’m not joking when I say that this show dominated my month! I was listening to the album up and down for weeks and still have most of the songs stuck in my head. If I could have the cast go on tour as the band, you would 100% find me there and I’m not even usually a person that goes to concerts (except for a few select artists).

The book was always my least favorite TJR book and I’ve made no secret of that, but it really came alive for me getting to hear and experience the music. I don’t have the imagination to “hear” the songs when they are just described to me in a book and this helped me, personally, so much.

Also, look at me channeling my inner Camila!

Writing Sprints with Marie

Marie has been one of my closest friends for the longest of times and I’m so very proud of her constant endeavors and her passion for writing. She’s so consistent and I really admire that beyond anything, because I have been FAILING in the writing department myself. But, she was gracious enough to do some writing sprints with me in March and it has been such a great motivator!

I have no idea if you’ve been here long enough to remember BUB, but it was my first NaNoWriMo novel and I even finished it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally terrible and needs so much work, which is why I’m back to editing/completely rewriting it. Clearly, I can’t stick to one project at a time, so I’m just switching between them however I like …

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS BOOKISH POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you’ve already had a brilliant start into the month of April and that there are many happy things to come! Let’s chat!

The Lovelight Series – and why it is so endearing!

It’s almost the end of March and I just figured I had to attempt at least one somewhat creative post. While I talk about TV shows and movies aplenty on here, books sometimes take a backseat, although that was never intentional. So, why not shine a light (no pun intended) on the Lovelight series? After a friend of mine posted their fancasting of some of the characters and there just happened to be an actor I really love mentioned for one of them, I could no longer resist and had to pick them up myself – no regrets!

What is the Lovelight series about?

Set at Lovelight farms, a Christmas tree farm in a lovely small town, the series follows different characters on their journey to finding love. While the individual love stories are completed each time, you still have that interconnectedness that comes with reoccurring characters and that warm fuzzy feeling that found family tropes give me.
Most of the stories feature miscommunication (which is usually a pet peeve of mine, but done so well here), idiots in love (as in everyone can see they’re meant to be except for them) and a whole bunch of meddling townsfolk. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, I will go into some tropes for each of the novels next!

What are the tropes/themes for each book?

Lovelight Farms – Lovelight #1

  • Fake Dating
  • Best Friends to Lovers
  • All the Christmas vibes
  • Complex family dynamics
  • Loss of a parent
  • Chaotic vs. organized personality

In the Weeds – Lovelight #2

  • One night stand turned slow burn
  • Can Beckett adopt any more animals?
  • Gentle giant/fierce girlboss dynamic
  • Grand romantic gesture
  • She’s the only one that can make the noise stop
  • Protective big brother vibes

Mixed Signals – Lovelight #3

  • All the baked goods!
  • Fake dating (again!)
  • Long time crush
  • Learning that one deserves to be loved
  • Actual nice guy

Now, why are the books so endearing?

While I definitely have a favorite ranking of the books (the order they were released in) and a favorite character (Beckett from In the Weeds – 100%), all of the books left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling I mentioned earlier.

You get to know these characters and spend time with them. They accompany you through more than just the first book and you see them thrive moving forward. I would say that the Lovelight series is a low-stakes romance series, which I absolutely see as a good thing. While there’s miscommunication and misunderstandings, nothing feels blown completely out of proportion, because the characters are so well developed. Also, the third act conflict is usually resolved fairly quickly, which I appreciated SO MUCH!

While the first book was in single POV, Borison later moved to double POV to show both sides of the coin. But it’s not just about the leads of each individual novel and instead the town as a whole. You get this sense of community and almost want to pack a bag and move there to find happiness yourself. It evoked that same kind of welcoming charm that fictional towns like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls and the like have produced in the past.

Favorite Quotes

“It’s hard to love someone without restraint. To give yourself over to the swell and pull of it without fear of what might happen. I think it’s only natural to hold a part of yourself back and protect what you can.”

B.K. Borison, Lovelight Farms

“It’s okay if it takes you some time to find it again. And it’s okay if you find it just to lose a bit of it here and there. That’s the beauty of it, yeah? It comes and goes. Not every day is a happy one and it shouldn’t be. It’s in the trying, I think.”

B.K. Borison, In the Weeds

“I’m starting to think I made a mistake. When I taught you how to love. If you think love means having to sacrifice bits of yourself to make someone else happy. If you are afraid to ask after what you want. Maybe I did something wrong.”

B.K. Borison, In the Weeds

“Why can’t I find a single human being that I connect with? My standards are not impossible. I want someone who makes me laugh. Who cares about what I do and what I say and what I think. I want to sit on the couch with someone in blissful, perfect, comfortable silence—pizza on the coffee table and my feet tucked under their thigh. I want someone to hand me the recipe section of the local paper while they read the headlines. I want to share all of my small, silly, silent moments. I want someone to give me butterflies.”

B.K. Borison, Mixed Signals

Overall Rating

I’ve really enjoyed the series and IT IS NOT DONE YET! The next book will release early 2024, if I’m not completely off, and I might just pick it up as well.

Each book had a different spice level and pairing, but provided almost equal comfort. I can appreciate that!

To me, the series thus far deserves a 4 star rating at the least.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Have you read the Lovelight series? Do you plan to? Do you have a favorite character as well? Let’s chat!