Reviews: WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE & 30 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF

 

Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s hoping that 2022 is good to all of us, both in terms of our lives in general and of course in terms of our reads for the upcoming year.  Today I’m sharing my first reviews of 2022, a fun read from an author I enjoy, Emma Lord, and a thought-provoking read by a new-to-me author, Radhika Sanghani.

 

Reviews:  WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE & 30 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MYSELFWhen You Get the Chance Goodreads

Author:  Emma Lord

Publication Date: January 4, 2022

Publisher:  Wednesday Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

If, like me, you’re a huge fan of the musical Mamma Mia, you’re going to just fall in love with Emma Lord’s latest contemporary romance, When You Get the Chance.  It follows Millie Price, a talented teen who has dreamed of becoming a Broadway star from the moment she saw her first musical.  She’s determined to get there and nothing and no one will stand in her way – not her overprotective father, not her drama club rival Oliver, not even her own intensely emotional moments of self-doubt.  When Millie secretly applies to an elite high school drama school and gets accepted, her dad says no way.

Millie decides she needs someone on her side and thus embarks on a search to find the mother she has never known.  She thinks she has hit the jackpot when she stumbles across her dad’s LiveJournal from 2003.  After reading post after cringy embarrassing post, Millie has come up with a list of three possible women who might be her mother.  First there’s Steph, an aspiring actress who works as a receptionist at a local talent agency.  Then there’s Farrah, a dance teacher in the area. And finally, there’s Beth, a fellow musical theater enthusiast who also happens to have a daughter just a couple years younger than Millie.  Millie sets out on a mission to get to know all three of these women in hopes that it will become obvious who her mom is, and thus begins her “Millie Mia” journey, which is the focus of this book.

I had so much fun reading this book!  I adored Millie and was fully invested in both her dream of being on Broadway and her search for her birth mom.  I loved her spirit and her sense of determination.  I also fell in love with basically all the other characters in the book too.  Millie’s nerdy dad and cool aunt are both so fantastic and so supportive of her, even if they don’t necessarily agree with her choice of schools.  Millie’s best friend and neighbor, Teddy, is a sweetheart and I loved the closeness of their friendship.  Steph, Farrah, and Beth were all so delightful that I couldn’t even decide which one I hoped would turn out to be Millie’s mom.  Millie’s nemesis, Oliver, is also fabulous.  I loved watching the two of them interact when they both end up working as interns at the same talent agency.  Their escalating rivalry is hilarious, especially since it’s pretty clear they’re both just hiding their true feelings for one another.

If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming story about family, friendship, and following your heart that also features an utterly delightful cast of characters, I highly recommend Emma Lord’s When You Get the Chance4.5 STARS

 

Reviews:  WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE & 30 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF30 Things I Love about Myself Goodreads

Author: Radhika Sanghani

Publication Date: January 4, 2022

Publisher:  Berkley Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

Life is not going well for Nina Mistry.  Her career is going nowhere, she has just broken up with her fiancé and moved back home with her overbearing mother, and as if that isn’t enough, she finds herself locked up in jail on her 30th birthday wearing only her pajamas. While sitting in her cell contemplating the sad state of her life, Nina finds herself in possession of a self-help book called “How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself,” Nina decides to embrace the philosophy of this book and it turns out to be a life changing experience for her.  30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani follows Nina on her journey of self-discovery and self-love.

Nina’s journey to find 30 things she loves about herself is compelling and it’s one that had me wondering if I could find anywhere near 30 things I loved about myself. I found myself very interested in what kind of wisdom Nina’s self-help book would dole out and even though some of Nina’s experiences as she follows the book’s instructions might be a little over the top for dramatic purposes, I think the essence of the story is one that many readers, especially those right around Nina’s age, will relate to.  Nina makes plenty of mistakes along the way as she pushes herself out of her comfort zone, but overall, the book’s advice to embrace bold actions and try new things, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or even tantric sex is truly the game changer Nina needs.

While I enjoyed following Nina on her journey, I do have to confess that I found my attention wandering a little by about the halfway point.  I think part of that was that her story is so sad in the early stages that I found it somewhat draining, especially since I was grieving the loss of two loved ones around the time I read this book. I probably wasn’t in the best headspace to read a book about someone hitting rock bottom.  Plus, her brother, who is also living with their mom, is suffering from depression and can barely function, which was also just so heartbreaking to watch. Thankfully though, the more Nina learns about herself and continues to build her list of 30 things, the more upbeat and hopeful the story got.

Even though the emotional weight of the book made me struggle with it a bit, I still think 30 Things I Love About Myself is a very worthwhile read.  I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys stories about self-love or who may be looking for inspiration to embark on a similar journey.  3.5 STARS

16 replies
  1. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    I love Mama Mia so will definitely be checking out When You Get the Chance. Especially since my daughter is involved in musical theatre!

    I have 30 Things I Love about Myself on my wish list and am really curious about it. It sounds sadder than I was expecting, but if I know that going in, I should be okay.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these two books!

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I hope you enjoy both of these when you read them. 30 Things is definitely heavier than I was expecting but her journey is such an important one and it does get more and more hopeful throughout the book.

      Reply
  2. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    Sadly, I ended up DNFing 30 Things. I liked previous books by the author, and it started really strong, but it lost its way for me. I agree with you about Lord’s book – so much fun! It was really sweet and touching too.
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…Isn’t It Romantic?

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I have to admit that I almost DNF’ed it because it was just so emotionally draining. If it hadn’t started to pick up when it did, it could have easily been a DNF for me as well.

      Reply

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