Book Review | On a Tuesday by Whitney G

On a Tuesday. By Whitney G. WGW Books, LLC, 2017. 228 pages. $2.99 (Ages 18+).

Buy it here.

            What if the best and worst of everything in your life happened on one specific day of the week? For Grayson and Charlotte, that’s exactly how Tuesdays are. Anything and everything happens to the pair on a Tuesday – aptly titling the novel.

            Grayson Connors is the college football player. Likely to be the NFL’s number one draft pick after his graduation from Pitt, everything is looking great for him. There’s just one thing… he doesn’t date. Charlotte Taylor is the perfect student. Set up to go either to art or law school upon her graduation from Pitt, she’s just two courses shy of graduating on time. The only way to make up for her missing credits is to take on a tutoring gig. Her problem comes in the form of one soon-to-be NFL star.

            This love story is really fast paced. Altering between past and present day, we get a glimpse into how quickly Charlotte and Grayson fall in love and just how quickly the tides can turn. Considered a second chance romance, Charlotte and Grayson’s love story definitely had my attention from the beginning.

            While this is not my first Whitney G romance novel I have to say, it was MUCH tamer than I remember her other novels being. This one is a slow build and doesn’t have naughty scenes ever other page like a lot of Kindle books. While I found Grayson to be an egotistical ass most of the time, he grew on me. Charlotte did not really stand out to me much – I actually find that, as I reflect on these characters, that their personalities are more present that what I can remember of their looks. I actually think I can appreciate this more than if I only remembered how they looked…

            What I personally found the most fascinating about this book is the concept of everything happening on one day of the week. I mean, even the main event of this book (a random seven year college reunion) happen on a freakin’ Tuesday. I get that this is a simple reason to be interested in a book, but it’s what kept pushing me through.

            Ultimately, the twist about why the relationship fell apart was pretty surprising to me. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have been… but it was and I was thrilled to be wrong!  Overall, this book kept me on my toes and consumed my thoughts.

Book Review | Still Me by Jojo Moyes

By the time I picked up this book, my anger at Me Before You had almost subsided, but then Jojo Moyes decided to continue to stab me in the heart with Louisa’s story.

I’ll say this, Me Before You was probably my favorite book in this trilogy, but that isn’t to say I disliked the other two. My rage simmered throughout After You and Still Me because Moyes writes such likeable characters. I was shattered after Me Before You and I still kind of can’t let go of my sadness.

Still Me was the closure to Louisa’s story that I needed. And it was definitely a whirlwind.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart–wherever that may lead?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she discovers who she is and who she was always meant to be–and to live boldly in her brave new world.

Ambulance Sam

Part of the reason this book was so frustrating to me was Ambulance Sam. I really like him for Louisa, but the problem with their relationship is starts off while she’s still grieving and then they only have like three months together before she leaves for her new job in New York. I know they love each other but a lot of the turmoil they faced throughout this novel could have been avoided if they’d just put a stopper on their relationship until she returned to England. I feel like when Lou arrived in New York she really limited herself – or held herself back – because of Ambulance Sam.

I understand why Moyes had their relationship struggle to survive the long distance. It made the story work.. I just didn’t necessarily like all the trouble Lou went through in this one. It’s just like – why can’t this woman catch a freaking break?!

Oh and all that shit with Katie. Unnecessary. Sam and Lou went through it enough on their own – Katie was an unnecessary, underdeveloped character. I can’t even really remember much about her other than she was obsessed with Sam.

The New Employer

The Gopnik’s have their problems. I mean Agnes is the same age as Lou and Leonard is probably in his sixties. Safe to say he’s old enough to be her father. I’m not judging – love is love, but the issue I have with their relationship is that Agnes has built it on secrets and lies. She could have just told him about her issues with her family in Poland and saved everyone a lot of trouble.

It’s not shocking that Agnes loves Lou as a friend. She ends up not defending her to protect herself toward the middle of the story which isn’t surprising. It’s just not very friend-like. It was messed up how quickly Lou was dismissed, yet in true Lou spirit, she didn’t give up.

Margot De Witt

Perhaps the most surprising outcome of this story is the relationship that blooms between Mrs. De Witt and Lou. The old woman was a fashion mogul in her younger years so, of course, when Lou realizes it, they really hit it off. Her pug, Dean Martin, also helps forge a really lovely friendship between the younger and older women.

What I like most about this friendship is the encouragement Margot offers to Lou during what I’ll call the dark days. She encourages her to be herself. To not shape herself to any man. To embrace her own sense of fashion. In particular, I enjoyed the moment Lou refuses to change out of her bumblebee tights for a night out with the Corporates because of Mrs. De Witt.

In the end, Lou and Margot end up being really great friends for each other despite the age gap. Lou helps Mrs. De Witt reach out to her estranged family and Mrs. De Witt enables Lou to figure out her dreams, while also enabling her to remain in New York.

Josh (His Last Name Doesn’t Matter)

However much he looks like Will. He. Is. Not. Will. Traynor.

Dude’s the biggest, most pompous asshole ever. I’ll leave it there.

Lily

I liked Lily MUCH more in this one! Not only is she doing SO MUCH better by living with Mrs. Traynor, she’s also playing matchmaker (and well).

I don’t have too much to say about Lily as she plays such a minor role in this book, but as far as character progression and growth goes – Lily nails it!

Concluding Thoughts

For me, this was a neat conclusion to Lou’s story. I’m not left wanting more because I’ve created a nice little story for Lou and her fella in my mind. I don’t actually want to read more from Lou even though I adore her. In my head, her story has concluded. I’m happy with the ending of this series (if it is, in fact the end). If there were to be another sequel, I can’t say with confidence I wouldn’t read it, but I’m about 90% sure I’d let it slip past. Like I said, this conclusion was lovely.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫

Honestly, there was a bit in the middle where I felt like Jojo was adding chaos for the sake of making the book more lengthy. There’s such a thing as drivel in literature and some of the chaos of Lou’s life in the middle was drivel that could’ve been left out. I really believe this book could’ve been at least 75 pages shorter without compromising the ending. This is the reason it didn’t get 4 from me.

Have you read any of Moyes’ other works? I found myself loving her writing style so I’m hoping for some recommendations for other books by her I should read. Drop me a recommendation in the comments… not that my TBR can handle much more haha.

Book Review | Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ hasn’t been on my radar for long. It’s not really that talked about in the Booktune community – and I haven’t really seen it around bookstagram that much either. Maybe I’m not following the right people – those hidden Dumplin’ fans.

Even when the movie dropped on Netflix, I didn’t really see a lot of talk about it. To All the Boys was majorly hyped, but this one… not so much.

When I saw Jennifer Aniston was cast as the mom in the adaptation of Dumplin’, I knew I’d be watching it. But not before having read the book.

So with my Christmas gift card from Barnes and Noble, I bought my copy of Dumplin’.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Body Positivity

Look, I get that a lot of people don’t think this book was that body positive for a book about body positivity, but I don’t agree with those people. I think Willowdean is really positive in her own skin if we consider the fact that she is a sixteen year old girl. I’ve been slim my whole life, but I haven’t always felt comfortable in my own skin. This is what I think the main point Julie Murphy is trying to drive home. I mean even the MOST confident person in the world probably has struggled with body image issues. I don’t think this is not body positive.

Think about this for a second, Will’s issues don’t rise until her feelings for Bo surface. Who hasn’t been kissing someone and felt less than comfortable in their own skin. Look, maybe I’m oversharing, but I remember my first real kiss with a boy. I never felt so uncomfortable in my life even though I was enjoying myself.

The point I’m trying to make is that Julie Murphy wrote Will really well. She’s confident, but not always overly so. Everyone has issues with their bodies at some point in time.

Love Triangle

This book didn’t need a love triangle. Not at all. That being said, I thought Mitch was really just the sweetest. Obviously I was Team Bo because Will didn’t really even like Mitch.

Honestly, I thought this could’ve been handled better. Mitch was clearly meant to be a friend for Will and I wish that’s what would’ve happened. I didn’t like seeing him get his heart broken. I also didn’t like that his freaking best friend was the biggest asshole at the school. Whatever, the point stands. It didn’t need a love triangle. It made me feel really uncomfortable.

The Misfits

If there’s one thing I love in YA books, it’s a band of misfits coming together to overthrow the ideologies of the people around them. That’s what I loved most about this book.

First of all, Hannah is everything I expect to not fit into a small Texan town. Lesbian: check. Non-white: check. Some random defining feature that everyone makes fun of: check. Big attitude: double check. I liked Hannah simply because of her bluntness. She doesn’t need to fit in, but wants at least one friend. I was happy she found that in Will.

Millie is the happiest person in the book. She doesn’t let anyone hold her down (even her parents). What I liked about Millie is that she remains so positive throughout the book. She’s a close second in the group of misfits.

Amanda is seriously hilarious. Every single time she calls Bo “Peachbutt” I laughed out loud. It was seriously the best. As Millie’s best friend, she’s perfect.

The Friendship (& Rift)

Ellen and Will’s friendship being forged on Dolly Parton was a highlight of this book for me. I love Dolly, but not quite like these girls. Sure, I’ve been known to belt “Jolene” off key, but I don’t know every word to every Dolly song. I don’t worship her. But I loved this aspect of the book. It made me so happy.

The rift in the friendship could easily have been avoided if these two young ladies HAD COMMUNICATED. We don’t ask for much, but like, please explain to each other why you’re mad so we can move on and not waste time on mean girls!

Concluding Thoughts

I finished Dumplin’ on a Thursday and then spent Saturday morning watching the film. It was cute and not quite on par with the book, but good in its own right. I definitely recommend picking up the book before hitting up the movie because of the details lacking in the film.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Yeah that’s right. This one was a solid 5 for me. It made me feel so happy while reading it and I had a hard time putting it down. The characters were so well developed and the storyline captured me. My main issue was with the ending…

Have you ever participated in a beauty pageant before? I haven’t, but I’ve watched a male pageant live before (it was the best!).

One more question: Should I pick up Puddin’? I haven’t read the synopsis so I don’t know if it will give me more of what happens after the pageant or not.