January 27, 2020

Abbreviations #100 | Love Her or Lose Her, Vicious + The Crossroads of Should and Must

I wanted to make sure to review the remainder of the novels that I read last December before this month ends, so welcome to this December review wrap-up! I'm going to attempt to keep doing this regularly in 2020, so be on the lookout for more similar posts. But for now, on to the reviews!

I was pleasantly surprised by Love Her or Lose Her! I was nervous going into it because I’d heard early reviews from a few friends who didn’t love it. But I was too curious about Rosie and Dominic’s story to put off reading it for long. And I really enjoyed it! In fact, I might have liked it just a smidge more than Fix Her Up (and that’s saying something because I thought Fix Her Up was great). Love Her or Lose Her is about a married couple that have been having problems for a while and are just on the brink of divorce (Rosie’s ultimatum, if you wanted to know). Rosie and Dominic both end up deciding to try to work through their problems, and ta-dah, you have the perfect set up for a second chance romance. Much like its predecessor, this novel was filled with both humor and heart! I went through an entire spectrum of feelings as I read, which is always the mark of an enjoyable romance. It helped that I really liked Rosie and Dominic as individuals; I really felt for each of them as I read. It also led to my investment in this couple figuring out how to move forward after years of building resentment, neglect and miscommunication, particularly since readers are also treated to a glimpse to the time before when they were head over heels in love. I enjoyed watching the two of them learn more about each other, their relationship, why it fell apart and what they could do to fix it. Love Her or Lose Her was, in my opinion, a truly great companion sequel and worth checking out.

Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2) was released on January 14, 2020 by Avon.
I received an e-galley from the publisher via NetGalley for review.

Vicious is my second V.E. Schwab read (and I’m giving myself props for reading two of her books in 2019), after my friend Lauren picked it out for me to read last December! All I’d really known about this one going into was that 1) it’s about two college friends who experiment with the creation of ExtraOrdinary people and end up becoming enemies and 2) so many people I see online adore this (including my friends Kristin and Lili). I’m happy to report that Vicious was a fun read! I could totally see it doing well as a film or a comic, since that’s generally how I prefer to experience my superhero/supervillain tales. But Schwab did a good job translating the story into actual prose. There are so many merits to this tale: the snappy pacing, the narrative choice of using alternating timelines to build tension and context, the simple but compelling plot, the questions of good versus evil, and the interesting cast of characters. But I didn’t end up personally falling in love with this one for one simple reason: I didn’t feel connected or invested in the characters. Objectively speaking, however, this is an entertaining read and I’d still recommend it overall! [content warnings: suicide (talk and attempts), overdosing, self-harm, drug use, murder, animal death, violence]

Vicious (Villains #1) was published on September 24, 2013 by Tor Books.

My last read of 2019 is the book my sister Rachel picked out for me to read in November (and yes, I was totally late in reading it, but at least I got to it before the year ended): The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion. She was incredibly moved by this non-fiction/self-help book when she initially read it years ago and thought I would appreciate reading it too. And she was right! I really enjoyed the central theme which, as the title indicates, is an exploration of that crossroads between “should” and “must” that we all arrive at time and time again in our lives. Elle Luna offers some perspective on the difference between the two, using her own experiences and with the addition of a couple of relevant quotes. I found it interesting, as she was able to put feelings I’ve had into words in a way that will help me express (to myself and to others) how I feel whenever I arrive at that given crossroads in my life going forward. I finished this one feeling seen and reassured and inspired, and I’m glad I chose to end my year with it. (I also really enjoyed the aesthetic of this one! It’s got such vibrant colors and great quotes from famous personalities.)

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion was published on April 7, 2015 by Workman Publishing.


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