A Taste of Sage, Yaffa S. Santos

Review: A Taste of Sage, Yaffa S. Santos (Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy)

I really wanted to love this one. The writing was fantastic and the premise was unique and intriguing.

Lumi was an engaging character, as was Julien. I didn’t love him at first, but he grew on me.What kept me from loving it was that at times, the relationship between the two felt forced and a bit rushed. I’d have liked a bit more flirting and coyness.

All-in, A Taste of Sage was a solid restaurant-themed romance with great characters and recipes that left my mouth watering.

This was a fun, cute read. I adored Lumi and Julien grew on me. Their story did feel rushed and almost forced at times, but also genuine.

Like Air

Waiting is a game I’m not that great at.

If you’re a Hamilton fan, you’re probably familiar with the song “Nonstop.” The lines, “why do you write like you’re running out of time; write day and night like you’re running out of time” are very personal to me.

The pressure to constantly be producing and going is entirely internal. I don’t have a deadline or a word quota but I constantly feel like if I’m not writing, I’m not breathing.

There is something about creating words on a page that was once blank that breaths life into me.

But the need to write can also be suffocating. Especially when the words aren’t flowing. It often feels like I’m letting my characters down when I leave their stories untold or unfinished.

Both of these feelings—invigoration and suffocation—drive new forward. Both inspire me. Both are necessary to the process.

I’m currently in between projects and in the without air phase of writing. I’m fairly certain I know what story is coming next but I’m waiting for the words to find their way to the page.

Catch & Kill, Ronan Farrow

Wow. Guys, I know I’m late to the party on this one but damn. This was an intense ride.

I was pretty familiar with the Harvey Weinstein case when I started this book but I had no idea just how insane and predatory he was until I learned the lengths he went to kill the story.

Farrow is a phenomenal journalist and wordsmith. I was captivated from the first chapter.

Captivated and enraged.

As a female, I’ve always known that men will do just about anything to protect their status in the patriarchy. That’s an unavoidable truth. But hearing just how volatile their fragile egos are in such a detailed manner was eye opening.

Thank you to all the women who came forward and shared their stories despite the threats to their safety, careers, and families. Your voices and stories matter.

All Adults Here, Emma Straub

I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book where I loved every single character, flaws and all. But I did. I fell madly in love with the Strick family.

Astrid and Birdie. Porter, Elliot and Wendy, and Nicky. Cecilia. Each one of them perfectly imperfect and real.

I did not want this book to end but couldn’t put it down. Definitely a top book for 2020 for me.

Happy & You Know It, Laura Hankin

Oh, motherhood. The feeling that you’re always screwing up and doing it wrong. The comparisons. The desperation. The no sleep and never-ending messes. The pure, unfiltered beauty of it all.

Happy & You Know It captured it all. And then some. This was the perfect book to escape reality for a bit and get completely lost in the ridiculous world of Instagram influencers, mommy groups, and rich NYC moms.

I adored the writing and the story. I also have to admit that I did NOT see that (you’ll know when you read it) coming.

Big Summer, Jennifer Weiner

I know I say this with every Jennifer Weiner book I read, but this was by far my favorite. I was worried she wouldn’t be able to top Mrs. Everything. She did. Big Summer blew me away.

Daphne was loveable, relatable, and real. Her relationship with Drue, though frustrating, is something that I think we can all sympathize/empathize with. I was rooting for both of them.

I will say, the second half of the book blew by. Once I hit part two, I couldn’t put it down. I was enthralled and had to finish it. I won’t give away the mid-point twist, but DAMN.

Little Weirds, Jenny Slate

I came into Little Weirds with zero expectations and left with a massive girl crush on Jenny Slate. Before reading Little Weirds, Jenny Slate was a comedian, a voice that appears in movies my kids love, and a myriad of other things that we assign to actresses and celebrities. Now I know the truth. Jenny Slate is a vivid writer with endless imagination.

The prose within Little Weirds was rich and lively. I listened to the audiobook and am fairly certain I need to get the print version as well.

The Sweeney Sisters, Lian Dolan

You know those books that just make you want to smile? That was The Sweeney Sisters.

Each sister had a complex, relatable story and journey that brought them to life. Even the characters not present much on page, Bill, Maeve, and Birdie felt real and alive.

This was the exact book I needed to pull me away from the insanity of 2020.

Valentine, Elizabeth Wetmore

I had such high hopes for Valentine when I picked it for my April BOTM. I’d seen amazing reviews on Bookstagram and Jenna Bush Hager picked it for her April book club. But, it fell short for me.

I loved the writing and voice of the book but the story felt disconnected. Each character could have her own book, and I wanted more of them. But especially more of Glory. Her story was lost in the story of so many other women.

Falling in Love with my Characters

Have you ever fallen so in love with a project that we’re we’re scared to set it free?

I am 2 chapters and an epilogue away from finishing the first draft of my latest WIP. and I cannot wait to go back and read it from the beginning.

I realized yesterday that I was telling the story of an old friend who had big dreams and never chased them. I don’t think I sat down with the intention of writing that story. When the realization hit me, I fell a bit more in love with my characters and story.

It also made me want to go back and make it perfect, and then hold it close and protect it from the world.

This new project also brought me back to my first writing love—lyrics. As I started writing this book, I dug up my old songs and listened to them on SoundCloud.