ARC Review || The Piano Man Project by Kat French

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~ Genre : Adult Contemporary Romance ~

~ Publication Date : 30th July 2015 ~

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|| BLURB ||

Finding love isn’t always black and white…

You: kind, piano-playing sex god
Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.

But when Honey discovers the devastating reason for his moods she decides to give him another chance. And discovers that the best songs aren’t always in tune…

A hilarious, feel-good, sexy romantic comedy for fans of Lucy Diamond, Paige Toon and Giovanna Fletcher.

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|| REVIEW ||

{I received an ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.}

Reading the blurb of The Piano Man Project, I’d expected this to be one of those cute and fluffy and sexy and fun reads that would leave me with a big grin on my face. In fact for the first 40-50%, I was totally sure this book was everything I’d hoped it would be. The story started out in a pretty funny and interesting way and I just didn’t want to stop reading. It was so good. I liked the main characters very much and loved the portrayal of their gradually developing relationship. We had this kind, adorable and romantic heroine and a hero who’s gruff, mysterious, hot and sort of an enigma. Theirs was a different relationship. Unpredictable and volatile. There was animosity, then friendship, then attraction – which by the way they wanted but could not act upon.

Also side by side, we had another story in progress. Our heroine, Honeysuckle (no kidding there! That’s really her name! ) or Honey, works in this charity shop with two volunteer workers, Lucile and Mimi, who are her dear friends and live in the Old people’s charity home attached to the shop. Due to the lack of funding, the residential home comes under the hammer, leaving the residents which include Lucile and Mimi, facing eviction and Honey losing her job. Hence begins a series attempts to save the home. Furthermore there were some personal issues of Mimi and Lucile which took some portion of the book. Their parts were fairly engaging but if you’re expecting this book to be purely a romance novel with the story revolving solely around the two protagonist, you might get disappointed.

There was quite a good dose of humor involved as well. The whole setup in totality was very gripping and I was enjoying the book thoroughly. But that was only upto where the story reached it’s midpoint. Because then things started being not-so-interesting and not-so-funny and not-so enjoyable. The characters I loved so much started deteriorating rapidly, to a point I was absolutely irritated of both our protagonists.

For Honey, I really wanted the girl to gain some self-respect. Hal (our hero) kept pushing her away again and again. Each time, his rejection more hurtful and insulting.  Still it was Honey who went back to him each and every time. I really wanted her to stand on her ground and let Hal grovel a bit. But she crawled back to him even if it was HIM at 1000% fault. The we had Hal. From the beginning of the story I loved him as a character. I justified his actions for some time as I realized his reasons and everything her had been through. But all that was okay to a point. Him being a complete ass again and again, I couldn’t overlook. Even though they get better towards the end of the book, I really wish they hadn’t worsened at the first place.

So obviously, it’s difficult to enjoy a book when you’re constantly getting irritated with the characters.

Moreover there was one more thing that was really getting on my nerves in the latter parts. Whenever things went downhill between Honey and Hal and you’d be dying to see what turn their relationship takes, instead of getting that you’d have to read pages and pages of the residential home issue. I’m not saying that part of the story was boring. But when you’re desperate to see what happens between the leads and how things change for the better, you just don’t want that to be interrupted by any other issue, especially if it takes so long to get back to the original matter. I guess that is why I felt so disconnected to the story.

Lastly, one thing that I dislike very much in book – rushed up conclusions. Has the ending at least been satisfying and not so hasty, it certainly would have lifted up some of my disappointment, but alas it did no good to the already collapsing story.

To conclude, I’d say The Piano Man Project was not a bad book. It was…okay. The first half was extremely entertaining and intriguing but the next half was not that happening. With decent characters, good humor and average story, it was a fine read.

My Rating : ★★★1/2

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Review || P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2)

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|| BLURB ||

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

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|| REVIEW ||

Bookaholism Blog : So…you read P.S. I Still Love You?

Me : Yeah, I finally did.

Blog : How was it?

Me : It was great.

Blog : Did you enjoy it?

Me : Yep!

Blog : And did you like it as much as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before?

Me : Um…I…uh…..

Blog : As the second book of a duology did it satisfy you?

Me : Oh, well…um….hehehe… *awkward shrug*

Now if you read that silly conversation above, it actually sums up my thoughts on P.S. I Still Love You. I read the first book of this duology, To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before, just a week or so back and I absolutely loved it. It was so cute and entertaining, I had to give it a five star rating (My Review) and I’ve been desperate to read the the second book ever since.

So this book starts from where the last book had left off. Just like the previous book, this one too is extremely easy to dive into. It was relaxed, funny and quite enjoyable. There were a lot of Covey family scenes in this book which I absolutely adored.

We also had a new (well, almost new) character in this book. John Ambrose McClaren. I loved John period. He was an absolute sweetheart right from the moment he entered. But of course, I knew Peter and Lara Jean were endgame, so I tried not to fall for him too hard, It failed though, horribly. I loved having him in the book.

But sadly, that’s where my praises for this book ends. I honestly enjoyed the first book much, much more and there are several reasons for that. Let’s start with the fact that there was wayyyyy too much UNNECESSARY drama in this book. I personally felt that the story was simply being dragged in order to make it a full-fledged novel. Just a few more chapters added in TATBILB would have been sufficient and way more satisfying than an entire novel filled with nothing but childish misunderstandings and a love square and zero character development.

I remember defending Lara Jean in the first book and I’ll still stick to my opinion in relation to the situations she was in. However, I will not deny that in the sequel, our protagonist in a lot of parts was extremely immature and annoying. I did understand her jealousy and everything but it really irritated me to see her coming to conclusion about everything without thinking through it properly. i kept waiting for her to come to her senses….basically, to gain at least some semblance of maturity, but no, she didn’t.  I don’t know if it’s just me but I couldn’t connect to her relationship with Peter. There was no trust, no faith, no development at all. I just couldn’t call it LOVE. In fact, their relationship in the first book seemed much more….like a real relationship.

Secondly, one of my main complains about PSISLY was that Lara Jean and Peter’s story did not get the focus it needed. As the main leads of the book, their scenes as a couple were surprisingly lacking. And the few times they were together, it most of the time ended on a negative note. I really wanted some cute, romantic times between them but I was left disappointed. 😦

I found the ending too rushed as well. The pace from the beginning had already been slow but then the wrap up was way suddenly quick. Basically this book focused on a lot of different matters, but non of them actually got a proper conclusion.

The only thing consistent and for the lack of better word, well, fabulous was my Kitty kitty!.. My god, how much I love her. I totally want a sister like her…Also there was nothing of our Joshy boy this time. I really liked him in the previous book and wanted him in the sequel too..but…*sigh*

So..yeah…although I know there wasn’t a lot of positivity in my review but ultimately P.S. I Still Love You was not a bad book. It was okay. Not really unpleasant, but just…unsatisfying and disappointing.

My Rating : ★★★ 1/2

Review || To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han

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|| BLURB ||

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

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|| REVIEW ||

[BLABBER ALERT! =>] Okay, so I will start this review with a confession. I wasn’t supposed to read this book now. A few days ago when my sister asked me to choose one of the books she will be gifting me for my birthday (that is in the month of June), I asked her to gift me ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’. I’d been meaning to read this book for a really, really long time and every month I would decide to buy it, but end up buying some other book. So yeah, I would get the book in a month and then read. I was simply browsing through by kindle, looking for something good to read and when I saw this in my collection…I don’t know what happened to me…I just felt this incredible urge to read the book up. It’s been in my TBR for so long and everything and I needed to read it right then. I couldn’t wait for an entire month. So I read it.

And now my thoughts on the book. Um……..I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!! I guess that gives you an idea that I have a whole lot of good stuff to say about this book because that is exactly what I am going to do.

I’d heard so much about this book and I was super curious to know what the hype was all about. And for sure, I do get it now.

As the blurb suggest, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, a shy and mostly reserved kind of a girl, who’s always been dependent on her elder sister, Margot. After Margot leaves for Scotland, Jara Jean’s life suddenly gets all topsy-turvy when the secretly hidden letters she had written to boys she had loved, all get mailed mysteriously. Then comes a series of hilarious events as she tries to handle her life that spirals rapidly out of control. From a girl who’s always be under her sister’s shadow, Lara Jean slowly evolves as she discovers herself and realizes that she can be a lot more than she has ever let herself be.

First of all let tell you that I could totally relate to Lara Jean. Firstly, I am quite a private person. I’m not good at always expressing my feelings verbally. Secondly, I have an elder sister and right from the beginning, I’ve been overly dependent on her. From schoolwork, to clothes, to other little things, she was always the one I went to. So when she had to leave us for her studies, I felt really lost for some time. Lara Jean’s hesitation and whining in most situations might come off as annoying to a few people, but as a person who’s been in a similar situation, I do understand that all the whining and self-pity is not intentional. I loved how her character was gradually brought out of her shell.

Also, the relationship between the three Song sisters was portrayed in a very realistic manner. The teasing, the pranks. the little things here and there…it was very natural.I totally loved  Kitty by the way. she was utterly cute! (And hahh, [SPOILER ALERT! =>] I knew! I knew it was Kitty who mailed the letter to get back to Lara Jean!!) The family moments in the book were really entertaining.

And then we have Peter K. And….um…I have another confession to make. I don’t know about others, but for the first few (quite a few actually :p) pages of the book, I was kinda shipping Josh and Lara Jean and thought that they were the couple of the book . I actually brushed off Peter’s character in the beginning. Seriously, he came off as such an arrogant ass. It was only after they decided the whole ‘pretend relationship’ thing that the bulb in the brain lit up, and I was like..oh, okay, so it’s Peter and Lara Jean. But I eventually fell head over heels in love with Peter. Even with all the arrogance, he was such a darling. An absolute sweetheart. Also, I loved the slow development of their relationship. It was adorable.

But….

What on earth was the ”Dear Peter…” ending?? Like, what?? If Miss. Han’s intention here was to torture her poor readers, it was an absolute success. God, I am so lucky to have this book read now, because the sequel releases in just a few days. I have 100% sympathy with those who read it earlier as the ending was a sheer punishment. I simply cannot wait to know what happens next…

As a conclusion, I’d say To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before was one very cute, fluffy and easy to get into book. It was fast-paced, and kept me interested throughout. I read the book in one sitting and enjoyed every bit of the story. It was sweet, funny, light and made me feel really happy.

I seriously don’t understand what took me so long to read this incredibly wonderful book and now that I have, I can simply say it is one the best YA romance I’ve read in a while.

Oh, and I still want the physical copy of this book for my birthday because it is that good!

My Rating : ★★★★★