March 30, 2018

Abbreviations #46 | London Belongs to Me, Roomies + In Search of Us

London Belongs to Me caught my eye last year when folks on Instagram and YouTube mentioned in in their hauls and recaps. I was intrigued by the cover, and the title, and when I heard what it was about, well, it sealed the deal on my interest. It's about Alex, who has moved to London after graduating from university in order to pursue her dream of being a playwright in the city of her heart. Of course, any dream worth chasing doesn't come without the struggle to achieve it, since that's just the way real life works, and Alex must figure out how to overcome all the obstacles that stand in her way to make her dream come true. I mean, honestly, I read this one at the perfect time, which definitely lent to my positive feelings overall. I'd been craving a contemporary read with a touch of romance, and this delivered on both counts! While it played out like a film might, was a teensy bit over the top in bits and overly convenient in others, it was still really fun. Middleton does a great job recounting Alex's coming-of-age journey. It's sprinkled with hilarious banter, really great relationships with secondary characters and just the right portion of romance. I finished the book with a smile on my face, and I'm definitely considering picking up the sequel soon!

(Also, just a fun fact here, there are a few parallels between this novel and my own life. The main character is Alexandra, and that's obviously my name. Her love interest in named Mark, and that's Macky's actual first name. They share an interest in theater and creative pursuits, which we also share. This totally amused me as I read, so I just thought I'd share!)

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton | Series: London Belongs to Me #1 | Publisher: Kirkwall Books | Publication Date: October 14, 2016 | Source: Bought Kindle e-book

It was the cover of Roomies that initially caught my eye and got me interested in checking this one out. Without a (very strong) push from some of my favorite people - DJ, Kristin and Rachel - I likely wouldn't have ended up picking this novel up right away. That, my friends, would have been a travesty! Roomies has a premise straight out of a romantic comedy: writer girl has crush on an incredibly talented subway musician, and things line up so that she has to consider marrying him so that he can legally be part of the orchestra for her uncle's very successful Broadway show... and she ends up deciding to go for it, and that's where the shenanigans begin. If you've ever loved rom-coms, if you enjoy being entertained by a fluffy contemporary, well, this is definitely a book you'll want to pick up! It made me laugh, it made me swoon, it made me have quite a bit of feels. I adored the fact that it was set in New York, with references that made it feel singularly true to what I experience of the city in real life. I loved the nods to creative pursuits, like writing, Broadway, and music; I enjoyed the characters and their relationships (except perhaps for a certain 'friend' who shall not be named) (but the banter though, the banter was excellent for the main romance). All in all, despite the slight touch of the unbelievable (not anything magical, just certain convenient turns), I really liked Roomies. It's well worth the read, and I would totally recommend checking it out!

Roomies by Christina Lauren | Publisher: Gallery Books | Publication Date: December 5, 2017 | Source: Bought the paperback

I didn't actually remember what the plot of In Search of Us was going into it. What I did know was that I had read and really enjoyed Ava Dellaira's debut Love Letters to the Dead, and I was fairly confident that I was going to at least like her sophomore release. Fortunately, I was right. I was hooked when I started reading In Search of Us, immediately drawn into this dual timeline story and the two different teen experiences of a mother and daughter: Marilyn, who is falling in love and fighting for her right to be free and be herself, and Angie, who is looking for the dad she never knew. It did take a little time to get acclimatized to Dellaira's writing style (and this might be a style that doesn't work for all readers, in my humble opinion), but once I was hooked, I was hooked. It's not an easy story to read, as a lot of the things that happen weigh heavy on the emotions. And I understood the reason for the two timelines, but it would have been nice to see more of Marilyn and Angie interacting with each other throughout the book. Still, it was compelling enough to keep me going, because I really just needed to know how it would all tie together in the end. I can't say that I would give a general recommendation for this one, given the style, the tone and the story, but I will say that for me, it was solid read.

In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira | Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR) | Publication Date: March 6, 2018 | Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thank you!)


  1. I've had an ARC of IN SEARCH OF US sitting around for quite some time but I haven't even opened it. :( I need to get on that. I love the cover of it.

  2. Ohh, lovely reviews Alexa :D Thank you for sharing about these books. <3 Sadly not for me, but they look so gorgeous :D And ohh! The London book. LOVE that the characters have the same name as you and your boy :D SO awesome, haha. <3 And glad you loved the book too :)


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