Top Ten: Contemporary Romances

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was books from my favorite genre.

I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary romances lately, and it’s been absolutely lovely. (I can’t wait to prioritize more of them going forward!) Below are some of my favorites.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Lip Lock by Susanna Carr
Miss You by Kate Eberlen
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
♥ Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke
Still Thinking of You by Adele Parks
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Top Ten: Romantic Couples

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was my favorite (romantic) couples in books.😍

Diana & Matthew from A Discovery of Witches // Elle & Darien from Geekerella // Emerson & Michael from Hourglass // Cathy & Hank from I Went to Vassar for This? // Rey & Ben from The Last Jedi

Molly & Kyle from Lip Lock // Tess & Gus from Miss You // Nik & Carlos from The Proposal // Bex & Nick from The Royal We // Lydia & John from The Witch of Willow Hall

Top Ten: Friendships

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was platonic relationships, but I wanted to focus specifically on friendships – and the many different forms they take!

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell // A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray // Lumberjanes, vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson // My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl // The Passage by Justin Cronin // The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory // The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby // Smart Girls like Me by Diane Vadino

Monthly Wrap-Up: September/October 2018

Did’ya know that I post videos on YouTube?? If not, check out my latest video below! The books discussed are:

What did you read??

Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Title: The Proposal
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Rating: ★★★★½
Summary: When freelance writer Nikole goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part, though – it’s having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans. When Carlos comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew, they form an easy camaraderie. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she’s okay embarking on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes.


Note: an eARC of this title was acquired via NetGalley.

Y’ALL.

Let me just preface this by saying that I absolutely adored The Proposal. Jasmine Guillory is a fantastic writer, full-stop, and her sophomore novel was a fun contemporary romance that treated its characters (and readers) like competent adults. There was dramatic tension, but it didn’t feel like the characters made stupid, dumb choices JUST to move the plot forward. They communicated with one another the way people do in real life and disagreements happened because of what each character SAID to one another, not because they didn’t talk to begin with. (Such gasp. Much shock. So horror.)

Both the two leads and everyone else were diverse in some way, but no one’s backstory or motivations felt contrived or there to only serve a narrative purpose. Like, this novel was just so refreshing and makes you question the romance genre as a whole. Why can’t other novels have functioning adults as their protagonists? Why can’t there be more than just straight white people falling in love?? Why can’t more intersectional stories cross over into the mainstream???

I was definitely aware of Guillory’s debut, The Wedding Date, earlier this year (an #OwnVoices contemporary romance raved by Roxane Gay!), so I really wanted to read The Proposal as soon as it was published. (Because duh that cover and that summary.) AND LET ME TELL YOU. It delivered. The Proposal could have been any other romance, but because Guillory is so precise in her characterizations, it made sense that THESE characters in THIS setting had THESE things happen to them. The sex scenes weren’t gratuitous but they didn’t feel safe for work, either. And I know the timeline in which her protagonists fall in love is, in theory, very short, but it’s also like why is this taking so long?? 👏HUR👏RY👏UP👏

Honestly, the only thing that I disliked was that the damn book ended. I could see that the pages left were getting smaller and smaller, but I was also like no??? maybe don’t?? And then when Nik and Carlos FINALLY get their Happily Ever After, I turned the page and there was a biography of Guillory instead of more story. (How dare she.)

I know that both The Wedding Date and next summer’s The Wedding Party take place in the same universe, but that’s kind of not the same thing and I am very, very sad I can no longer read this book for the first time.

Month in Review: October 2018

month in review - oct

Favorite Media

I knew The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory was going to be a fun, contemporary romance but boy did I NOT expect Guillory’s ability to write. Her characters are fully-fleshed, the plot flies, and everyone just happens to be non-white and non-hetero. (Woot.) Here’s to hoping I love The Wedding Date just as much!

Y’ALL. I binged the first two seasons of The Good Place in four days then sat on my couch and plaintively asked, “What do I do now?” out loud once I’d finished. The third season feels ~different somehow, but I can’t figure out if it’s because the crew is SPOILER[on earth] or because I’m not watching six episodes in a row on my iPad under a blanket. I have thought many times about rewatching the first two seasons because I loved them so much.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

Honestly, I have no idea where I first encountered Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (maybe on Lit Hub?), but I absolutely love the cover and the summary kind of hits all my buttons, too.

A fellow librarian purchased Adib Khorram’s Darius the Great Is Not Okay for the young adult collection, and the cover intrigued me so much that I felt compelled to read the summary… and that sounded so interesting that I added it to my TBR. #whoops

I will pretty much look into anything that mentions time travel, but not all time travel books are the same. Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen has so many different parts to it that I can’t wait to figure out how they all fit. PLUS it’s set in the ’90s. AND I love that cover.

A NEW ALL SOULS BOOK aka Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera seems to be inspiring both great and terrible reviews, but I adored Love, Simon and have They Both Die at the End on my TBR, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a teenage romcom featuring two guys. (AND THAT COVER.)

On My Radar

  • I made myself a blog calendar via Google Sheets to better organize the content I want to include on thewasofshall – very heavily influenced by Shealea over at That Bookshelf Bitch btw – and it’s either going to make me extra a+ organized or super overwhelmed.
  • I got so many books this month that I have enough for another book haul video!
  • I’ve been trying to be more active in seeking out ARCs, and I was recently approved for three great-sounding ones: Here and Now and Then (01/29/19), My Favorite Half-Night Stand (12/04/18), and You Know You Want This: ‘Cat Person’ and Other Stories (01/15/19). It means I have to figure out when to read them but then again I also get to read them.

What were YOU up to in October? Let me know!

Top Ten: Books on My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was books on my fall tbr! I couldn’t quite narrow down my list to ten, so below are thirteen books I hope to read in the next thirteen weeks.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green // Archenemies by Marissa Meyer // Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises by Rebecca Solnit // Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward // Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly // One Day in December by Josie Silver // The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory // Sadie by Courtney Summers

The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro // The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee // The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory // The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox