March 10, 2021

Abbreviations #125: The Dating Plan, Down Comes the Night + Namesake

While it was this adorable cover design that drew my attention initially, I was convinced to read The Dating Plan because of the premise. A fake dating situation between our heroine (software engineer Daisy Patel, who loves lists, Marvel and her family) and her older brother’s former best friend-slash-her childhood crush who broke her heart (venture capitalist Liam Murphy who is determined to prove something to the world… and his family) to ensure both their families get off their backs for their own specific reasons? So many of my buzz words are in that description, so I obviously jumped at the chance to pick this book up! While The Dating Plan was likable enough, it just didn’t hit the mark for me personally. I did appreciate the relationship dynamic between Daisy and Liam. They had plenty of great moments together, and I loved seeing their second chance play out the way it did. I also enjoyed the familial relationships, but particularly on Daisy’s side because I found her well-meaning, lovable, large family dynamic very familiar. Unfortunately, overall, the novel felt like it fell short in the character development department, which tends to be a big deal to me when it comes to the romances I read. I want to feel personally connected to at least one person in the main romantic relationship, and I didn’t get that with this book. The Dating Plan did have a lot of potential to be a new favorite read, but the reading experience fell short for me in the end.

Pub Info: March 16, 2021 by Berkley Books | Add it on Goodreads

When Wren Southerland uses her healing magic recklessly, she winds up dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend (who also happens to be the girl she’s in love with). Her only goal is redemption – and it seems like fate is working in her favor when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord of a neighboring kingdom asking for her help to cure his servant from a mysterious illness. But when she arrives, she discovers the mansion is crumbling, the master is eccentric, and her patient is Hal Cavendish… who is her kingdom’s sworn enemy. But Hal has secrets too and when they puzzle out that more sinister forces are at work, a partnership between them is the only chance they have at saving both their kingdoms. This is the premise of Down Comes the Night, a debut young adult fantasy on my radar since last year. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to the high hopes I had. It starts off slow, slow enough that I nearly set the book down. It does eventually pick up, though it incorporates familiar YA tropes (in plot and character) in ways that felt mediocre to me. I persisted in reading this one even though I wasn’t hooked, and I don’t regret that since it coalesced into a solid story in the latter half. Sadly, Down Comes the Night was just okay overall.

Pub Info: March 2, 2021 by Wednesday Books | Add it on Goodreads

I loved Fable, the story of a resilient young woman who escapes an island of thieves and cutthroats by booking passage on the Marigold to get to the island where her father resides so that she can join one of his crews, when I read it last year. It was an exciting adventure that gave me total Pirates of the Caribbean vibes (which is a franchise I thoroughly enjoy, mind you)! And after the way it ended, I was so eager to dive into Namesake. The sequel explores the consequences of the choices made in the first book, including a brand-new series of obstacles and challenges that Fable will need to find her way around (or through) if she wants to keep the people she cares for safe. Namesake was an enthralling adventure that had me hooked right from the start! I was happy to be reunited with Fable, to see the ways she’d grown from her experiences, to discover how she still had a lot to learn, and to witness her extraordinary (and stressful) adventures as she tries to make sure things all turn out okay. This, in tandem with learning more about the world and other characters, made this such a satisfying read. I couldn’t stop turning the pages once I’d started reading it, and I really enjoyed how Young chose to wrap up Fable’s tale. If you’ve yet to read Fable, consider this my endorsement for the full duology and encouragement to pick it up! And, if you’ve read Fable and are excited for Namesake, I can confidently say that you’re in for a treat. (P.S. I’d recommend reading them back to back for the full immersive story experience, which is what I ended up doing!)

Pub Info: Match 16, 2021 by Wednesday Books | Add it on Goodreads
Series: Fable #2 | Previous Book in Series: Fable


  1. I still need to read something by Adrienne Young. I'm sorry to hear about The Dating Plan since it was my Book of the Month club choice a month or so ago and is sitting on my TBR shelf right now. I'll still give it a try probably though when I can.
    Lisa Loves Literature


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