Rating: 4.5 STARS
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Love, Austen #1 (can be read as a standalone)
How I got this book: Bought
Emerett “Lake” Lakewood has a healthy ego and a flair for the dramatic. After losing his best friend to marriage—completely crushing his heart—he deems it prudent to distract himself, and what better way than playing cupid?
He’s already got his eye on two young men desperately seeking romance, and he has a plan to hook them up.
Reciting Shakespearean love declarations.
Lake is killing it. Love is positively pulsing in the air. Anyone could see it.
Well, anyone other than Knight, his best friend’s dad, who cautions Lake to stop meddling. To leave love to its natural course.
Lake has always valued Knight’s frankness, but this time he’s wrong. Without him, two hearts might be doomed never to find love.
Besides, what does Knight know about romance? He’s barely dated in all the seven years Lake’s known him. He’s clueless.
Though, there’s a thought. Knight has everything going for him. Sensibility. Kindness. Generosity. And for a forty-four-year-old, he’s—objectively—freaking hot.
Why is he single?
Emerett Has Never Been in Love is another prime example of why Anyta Sunday is one of my absolute favourite feel-good authors.
This book is the first in Anyta Sunday's brand new, Love, Austen series. A series where each book will be a contemporary m/m retelling of a beloved story by Jane Austen. This one was inspired by Emma, one of my favourite Jane Austen characters, and I couldn't wait to get started.
As always, Anyta sucks you in with goofy and naïve but completely loveable characters. Emerett and Knight are quite frankly adorable and a perfect pairing. Emerett is hilarious. He's young and completely hopeless without his best friend, who just got married and left Emerett with nothing to do but play match-maker, with hilarious implications.
Enter Knight, father of Emerett's best friend. He's good-looking, he's single and up until now, Emerett hasn't really noticed him, but Knight has certainly noticed Emerett, not that Emerett has any idea. He's completely clueless when it comes to love...but all that is about to change.
Anyta Sunday writes absolutely brilliant slow-burn romance and watching Emerett and Knight tiptoeing around their feelings in a will they, won't they dance, is equal parts frustrating and satisfying, with a great pay-off when they finally get together.
What's great about this book is that Anyta perfectly captures the comedy of Emma through the supporting characters and all the bad match-making attempts by Emerett.
Overall, this was a really brilliant start to a new m/m romantic comedy series. There' are plenty of laughs, likeable characters and a delicious slow burn.
Rating: 4.5 STARS!
Series/Standalone: The Extraordinaries #1
How I got this book: Bought
In Nova City, there are people capable of feats that defy the imagination. They're called Extraordinaries.
There is Shadow Star: a protector who can manipulate darkness in his quest to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
His arch-nemesis is Pyro Storm: an Extraordinary capable of controlling fire who is bent on bringing Nova City to its knees.
And then there's sixteen-year-old Nicholas Bell: who isn't Extraordinary in the slightest.
He's Shadow Star's number one fan, writing fan fiction of their adventures together and dreaming of a day where he too dons a costume and fights crime. Too bad ADHD isn't a superpower, otherwise Nick would be golden.
Instead of stopping villains and their convoluted schemes of global domination, Nick must contend with starting his junior year, a father who doesn't trust him, and a best friend named Seth, who may or may not be the love of Nick's short, uneventful life. It should be enough.
And it is...until a fateful encounter with Shadow Star forces Nick to realize his true destiny. He's tired of being ordinary, and he'll do whatever it takes to become something more.
I want this book to become a TV series!
This book was our third Turn The Page book club selection.
I loved this book. It was so fantastic to see, as always, the brilliant representation that you can almost guarantee from a TJ Klune book.
Nick is just a brilliant character; he's smart, funny and adorably clueless about what's going on. At the same time, he's struggling with the grief of losing his mum while feeling at odds with his dad, who he thinks wishes he were normal.
Nick is neurodivergent, and it was so refreshing to read a fun, sci-fi fantasy with a disabled hero.
“For the most part, he'd accepted that some people were born to be Extraordinaries, and some people were born to be medicated so they didn't spin out of control. Fair? Not really, but Nick was learning that his brain could do things that others couldn't. In a way, he had his own superpower, even if it was called a disorder.”
I really enjoyed following Nick's story as it takes unusual turns that are, for the most part, very funny, but sometimes much darker.
Surprisingly, the action sequences in this book were also really great, and it's those, interspersed with Nick's inner monologue, his awkward banter with Seth, his annoyance with Owen, and his hilarious friends, that I feel would make a fantastic tv show.
But, I did have a few issues with some aspects of the book. Nick's dad, I did not get on with. I just don't feel that he's a great parent. Yes, he worries about Nick, but he's also one of the main reasons that Nick feels so insecure about himself, and it's clear through much of what happens (no spoilers!) that he's lied to Nick a lot.
Then there's the issue with the glorification of the police force to a certain extent. I understand that this wasn't intentional and that the book was written, I think, before the recent light that's been shone on police brutality in America. However, the simple fact that Nick's dad is forgiven for doing punching someone in his position of power just doesn't sit well. That being said, the author did address this in his own blog post, so you're welcome to read that here and form your own opinion.
My other issue was that the plot twists were really predictable. But, saying that, I wonder if it was intentional because, while they're clear to the ready, they are not at all clear to Nick who's in the dark, meandering in all directions until he figures it out, which was actually a lot of fun to read. There were so many times where I just wanted to step into the book and help Nick, to tell him what was going on, but his cluelessness led to funny and heartbreaking scenarios that made his story all the more compelling.
Overall, I really enjoyed TJ's first YA novel. Having read a lot of his adult novels, I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I was really surprised. No, this book didn't affect me the way that The House in the Cerulean Sea did, but it's a very different book; it's harsher, and it has more grit to it.
But, I'd still highly recommend The Extraodinaries, and I can't wait to find out what happens to Nick and the gang in book two.
“Be gay. Do crimes.”
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About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
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5 Stars - AMAZING!!
4.5 Stars - Almost perfect!
4 Stars - I really loved it
3.5 Stars - I liked it alot
3 Stars - I liked it
(I don't typically review books that I rate below 3 stars)
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