Reviews: JUST ANOTHER LOVE SONG & LONG STORY SHORT

 

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a nice weekend.  I took some vacation days to give myself a four-day weekend so I definitely can’t complain, well, aside from not wanting to sign in for work today, haha.  Anyway, I’m back today with two new reviews for you, one is from a favorite author of mine, Kerry Winfrey, while the other is a debut from Serena Kaylor.

 

Reviews:  JUST ANOTHER LOVE SONG & LONG STORY SHORTJust Another Love Song Goodreads

Author: Kerry Winfrey

Publication Date: August 2, 2022

Publisher:  Berkley

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

I’m a huge fan of Kerry Winfrey’s books anyway, but when I saw that her latest novel, Just Another Love Song, is a second chance romance set in a small town, I couldn’t get my hands on a copy fast enough.  I’m happy to report that this romance was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Fifteen years ago, Sandy Macintosh and Hank Tillman were high school sweethearts.  They were in love and had big dreams – Sandy was a gifted artist, and Hank a talented musician, and they wanted to leave their small town in Ohio, go off to college together, and then start building their future.  When Sandy’s scholarship falls through, her dreams of college and leaving home are shattered.  Hank goes off to college anyway, and even though they promise they’ll stay together no matter what, after a while Sandy feels like she’s holding Hank back from pursuing a career in music, so she breaks up with him.  When the story opens, they have just run into each other for the first time since that break up.

I can’t even express how much I loved Sandy and Hank.  I was especially enamored with Sandy, who in spite of having her dreams crushed so long ago, has managed to make a pretty good life for herself. She’s now a successful businesswoman with a thriving greenhouse business and she is very active in the community.  She definitely made the best of a bad situation, and I admired her resilience.  I also adored Hank.  He’s of course sexy as heck, but he also clearly has a good heart and when he returns to his hometown, he immediately pitches in and helps anyone in need, even though he’s now a successful musician. There’s no egotism there at all.  When Sandy and Hank reunite for the first time, it’s of course super awkward, but you can tell the old attraction is still there.  My absolute favorite part of Just Another Love Song are the flashbacks Winfrey gives us to when Sandy and Hank first fell in love.  Those scenes were just so adorable and magical, and they had me all the more invested in them taking another chance on one another and revisiting what they had as teens in love.

The small town setting was also a big hit for me.  I loved everything about this community and its fun and quirky characters.  It kind of reminded me a bit of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls and I enjoyed all of the humorous moments the various townspeople provided and they also provided a nice balance to some of the more emotional scenes between Sandy and Hank.

With its beautiful second chance romance and its charming small town setting, Just Another Love Song is sure to please anyone who is looking for a heartwarming, engaging read.  4.5 STARS

 

Reviews:  JUST ANOTHER LOVE SONG & LONG STORY SHORTLong Story Short Goodreads

Author: Serena Kaylor

Publication Date: July 26, 2022

Publisher: Wednesday Books

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

Long Story Short, a new YA romcom by Serena Kaylor, was such a fun read for me!  It follows Beatrice Quinn, a 16 year old, academically gifted homeschooled student, as she tries to prove to her parents that she is both socially and emotionally ready to head thousands of miles from home to attend Oxford University where she has been accepted.

Beatrice’s parents know their daughter is brilliant and will succeed academically at Oxford, but they also just want to know that if she goes to Oxford, that she’ll be happy, make friends, and have the full college experience. They know Beatrice better than anyone else, and what they know is that while Beatrice may be a genius when it comes to numbers and statistics, but people, specifically how to make friends, are a mystery to her.  To put their own minds at ease, they decide to challenge Beatrice – if she can go away to a theater camp on the other side of the country and complete a list of tasks they consider to be “typical” teenage social activities, then they’ll let her go to Oxford.

I loved Beatrice from the moment we meet her and I have to admit that I was kind of angry on her behalf that she has to jump through these hoops to prove herself, but as a parent myself, I could understand why her parents were so worried about her going that far away.  There were some characteristics of Beatrice’s personality that made me think she might possibly be on the autism spectrum, but that was never explicitly stated so I’m not sure.  At minimum, she is most definitely an introvert and as a fellow introvert, I very much related to her social struggles and was really hoping for the best for her.

I don’t want to say much about the camp itself, so I’m just going to say that Beatrice’s journey is everything I wanted it to be for her and so much more.  She basically gets adopted by Mia and Nolan, two other teens at the camp, and they become just as invested as she is in completing her parents’ checklist and giving her the full typical teenager experience.  Beatrice learns about the bonds of friendship, how to read social cues, how to apologize if she accidentally offends or hurts someone, and she even learns a little about love.

Long Story Short is a wonderful coming of age story set against the backdrop of a Shakespearean theater camp.  If you’re in the mood for a story about friendship, love, and learning to live your life to the fullest, I highly recommend it.  4 STARS

22 replies
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’ve enjoyed Kerry Winfrey’s books so much. I realized I’ve somehow skipped over Waiting for Tom Hanks so I need to go back and read that one now.

      Reply
  1. Carla
    Carla says:

    These are both beautiful covers and definitely attract the eye. Just Another Love Song sounds like a great book, one I would definitely enjoy. Great reviews, Suzanne.

    Reply

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