The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan (2020)
When their father, a famous author, passes away, sisters Maggie, Liza, and Tricia come together to settle his estate and find out the unexpected news that they have a half-sister, who actually grew up next door to them. Now they have to deal with their father's legacy and the fact that their family will never be the same. I tend to enjoy stories about sisters, and this was no exception. I liked that each sister has her own life and issues going on, but they still relate to each other so well, and the way they reminisce about their childhoods felt so relatable. My main issues were two-fold. One was Tricia - she used way too much "lawyer speak" and all her dialogue felt like an info dump. My other issue is that the nature of the book felt confusing - it wasn't dark enough to be a complete drama and there wasn't a big event that the story was leading up to, but it also wasn't lighthearted or funny. The story just kind of moved along and by the end I was wondering what the point of it was. 3.5 stars
Geekerella by Ashley Poston (2017)
Elle hopes that winning the cosplay contest at the convention her dad founded many years ago will be her ticket away from her wicked stepfamily, and she finds herself crossing paths with the famous young actor who is starring in the movie based on the classic TV show she loves. I wanted to love this one more than I did. I love the Cinderella retelling vibe - it was so easy to pick out the parts that matched up to the original. I also loved the whole con/fandom aspect; I think it's a very relatable interest, especially these days. Finding your people, people who love the same things you do and don't make you feel bad about it, who you can geek out with and feel accepted - that was all amazing. Unfortunately, it was the romance I wasn't buying. I don't know if I wasn't paying attention closely enough or what, but I just didn't get the whole texting thing between Elle and Darien. It seemed to get so serious so quickly, for something that was basically an accident to begin with, and then they didn't actually meet until so late in the book. It felt forced. Cute idea, but the execution just didn't work for me. 3 stars
Always Only You by Chloe Liese (2020)
Star pro hockey player Ren has been in love with his team's social media manager, Frankie, since he joined the team, but dating a co-worker is off-limits. When Frankie announces that she's leaving to go to law school, Ren jumps on the chance to finally tell her how he feels. This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I like that Liese incorporates representation into her books and that many readers will find characters to relate to that they normally might not. Frankie has autism (#ownvoices) and also rheumatoid arthritis. I felt like I learned a lot about both of them and her ways of coping with the world. I thought Ren was a total sweetheart, but he also seemed too perfect, if you know what I mean? He's gorgeous, reads Shakespeare, is totally thoughtful, can get fierce when someone he loves is threatened - there's basically nothing wrong with him and it didn't feel real. I loved the way he worshiped Frankie, though - don't we all want that? And as much as I love Harry Potter, I thought there were way too many references to it in the book. 3.5 stars
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