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Review: THE ROUGHEST DRAFT by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Review:  THE ROUGHEST DRAFT by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-BrokaThe Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
four-half-stars
Published by Berkley Books on January 25, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

 

The Roughest Draft is a slow-burn contemporary romance from co-authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. It follows another pair of cowriters, Katrina and Nathan, who, after penning a best-selling novel together, had a major falling out and haven’t spoken to each other in three years.

Neither Katrina nor Nathan have any desire to work together again, but unfortunately for them, their book deal was for two books so unless they want to pay back the advance, they need to make peace and write together one more time. Reluctantly, the pair agrees to move in together for a few months and get this second book written.  They actually move into the same house they used the last time they wrote together so they are both surrounded by memories, both good and bad, and  it’s all fireworks from there!

I will say up front that it does take a few chapters to really get a feel for just how much bad blood and hurt feelings there are between Katrina and Nathan.  At first I was just sitting there like “OMG, why are they feeling so hostile toward one another?  What could have possibly been so bad?” As the story begins to unfold, I became completely engrossed in learning the details about what happened and in seeing if they would be able to move forward and write together again without killing one another. Both characters are immensely likeable and their chemistry is undeniable, even when they’re sniping at one another. Think Emily Henry’s Beach Read but way angstier and that should give you a pretty good feel for this book.

The Roughest Draft was such a wonderful read for me.  It just checked so many boxes.  It’s filled with romance tropes I love like enemies to lovers (actually more like friends to enemies to lovers), second chance romance, and forced proximity.  The story is presented to us from both Nathan and Katrina’s perspectives and through the use of dual timelines, which I always love when they’re used well.  In this case, they are used to perfection:  the present-day cowriting experience is presented parallel to the cowriting journey that went so wrong.  I loved watching Nathan and Katrina trying to navigate in the present while simultaneously learning what happened in their past to create the present-day angst and awkwardness.

I also tend to really enjoy books that give us an inside look at writers and their process, and The Roughest Draft gives us that sneak peek at Nathan and Katrina’s cowriting process because while the two of them are unable to really talk about what happened between them, everything they’re feeling comes pouring out onto the pages as they write together.  There’s so much passion and emotion flying between them I’m surprised they didn’t melt their keyboards!

If you’re in the mood for a slow-burn, angsty contemporary romance, you’re definitely going to want to add The Roughest Draft to your must-read list.

four-half-stars

About Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka met and fell in love in high school. Austin went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard, while Emily graduated magna cum laude from Princeton. Together, they are the authors of Always Never Yours, If I’m Being Honest, Time of Our Lives, and What’s Not to Love. Now married, they live in Los Angeles, where they continue to take daily inspiration from their own love story.

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

Can’t Wait Wednesday – WEATHER GIRL by Rachel Lynn Solomon

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is WEATHER GIRL by Rachel Lynn Solomon.  If you have followed my blog for a while, you know how much I have adored every book of Solomon’s that I’ve read so far.  I didn’t even realize she had another new book coming out so soon and happened across the news a couple of days ago.  Totally made my week and it sounds like another great great read too so I’m super excited. 🙂

 

WEATHER GIRL by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Publication Date:  January 18, 2022 by Berkley

From Goodreads:

A TV meteorologist and a sports reporter scheme to reunite their divorced bosses with unforecasted results in this charming romantic comedy from the author of The Ex Talk.

Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.

In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.

Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

 

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂