For What It's Worth

Monday, March 8, 2021

Reading Update


I may be getting my reading groove(ish) back! I only read 2 books in February but it was how I felt while reading that gives me a little hope. I was engaged with the stories and even felt like talking about and reviewing them after. I've posted two reviews recently, and will be writing another one soon.

Here are a few books that I'm either currently reading or got through the audiobook arc program & hope to read soon.

Float Plan by Trish Doller Goodreads (library) I’m listening to this one on audio right now. Anna – a woman whose fiancé, who died by suicide, embarks alone on sailboat trip they had been planning. I was immediately drawn to her and hooked on the story which has been rare for me when it comes to hyped romances these days. Fingers crossed it continues.

Saints and Misfits by S.K Ali Goodreads This was an ALA book I’ve had on my shelf for years now and I’m happy to finally get back to clearing out that pile. It’s a little slower paced but good so far! ALCs (audiobook arc's)

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai Goodreads Eh…this is a catfishing romance and I’m not thrilled with Jia’s voice so far or the way she confronts and then blows up at bewildered Dev, Her reaction is kind of immature/over-the-top and I might dnf this one. But Dev’s awkwardness with the niece he’s raising is adorable and has me hanging on a little bit longer

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert Goodreads The first book in the series – Get a Life, Chloe Brown didn’t wow me but I adored Take a Hint, Dani Brown so I jumped at this audio arc.

Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins Goodreads Honestly, this book sounds really strange and not like anything I’ve ever read. It involves the caul – a portion of the birth membrane that covers a babies face – and a Harlem family that deals in magic and the caul to protect babies. I think?? I don’t know. lol I LOVE the narrator, Joniece Abbot-Pratt (Raybearer & Grown), though so I’ll give it a try.  

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas Goodreads This is - as the author calls it – "basically fanfic"  about Peter Pan/Wendy Darling and missing children. I just finished Thomas’s wonderful debut Cemetery Boys and missing children were a small plot thread that I didn’t feel was explored enough so I’m curious to (hopefully) see that fleshed out more in this book.

Have you read any or are you interested in reading any of these?

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Review: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

RITA® Award Winning author Alexis Daria brings readers an unforgettable, hilarious rom-com set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas—perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin and The Kiss Quotient.

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy. 

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had. 
Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret. ~ Goodreads

Source: Purchased


A cute romance between very likable characters (including the supporting cast) set within the taping of a telenova that gives lead  actors – Jasmine and Ashton - a chance to get their big break. If only they can keep their hands off each other, protect their hearts and stay out of the tabloids.


💑 Both Jasmine and Ashton have had bad experiences with the press (Jasmine because of a break up with a popular singer, Ashton – a stalker) and are hoping starring in the new ScreenFlix streaming services series – Carmen in Charge will be their big break. After a classic meet cute moment, and initial antagonistic relationship, they are drawn to each other and have a really nice chemistry. Both empathetic and relatable.

👏 I loved the trope twist where Ashton plays the aging ingénue type character. He’s been in telenova's for years and had hoped it would be his big jumping off point to film but instead he’s just been killed off from his latest roll in favor of a younger actor. He’s a little insecure about his looks – not in a vain way – but in the way that women always have to worry about in looks obsessed industries.

⭐ There are a lot of progressive details that permeate this story – from the full Latinx cast, crew for the show, trans, gay and non binary characters. There’s also a plotline involving intimacy coaching for the sex scenes emphasizing consent and again – the author includes Ashton in this. Most books usually focus on the female characters but YHMaH makes sure Ashton is comfortable as well.

👌 The story switches between Jasmine and Ashton’s story and the scenes from Carmen in Charge. I was a little unsure of the shifts at first but I ended up hooked on those characters and their story and it was a way that the real life couple got to work out their awkwardness and parallel relationship.

😒 So – our couple has baggage and sometimes they both annoyed me lol Jasmine is determined not to get sidelined by a guy again and then whines non stop about wanting love and a man. She JUST broke up with her ex and is already head over heels for Ashton. Yes, they’re perfect for each other but I would have loved to see her on her own a bit first.

Aston has a big secret – which I won’t reveal. But the way he kept that secret made me think a little less of him at times. As Jasmine says to him later in the book – you can’t have it both ways and…yeah. SPOILER –> He has an 8 year old son who lives with Ashton’s father in Puerto Rico. He’s worried for his safety – with good reason – but choosing to pursue his career instead of living with his son put a bad taste in my mouth even though he was a good dad.<- END SPOILER

👍 Overall – I’ll be honest – this wasn’t an *all the swoons* romance for me but it was a fun story with a wonderful cast of characters in a world that was a delightful escape. I mean…I actually finished it! So that should be saying something lol

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Music: Ripley & Kai - The pandemic collection

 This is just a weird little post that I came up with after organizing my photos.

Awhile ago, someone said a picture of Ripley & Kai looked like an album cover and then I noticed several other did too lol

Kevin says they look like they'd be a moody indie band hahaha

Because I have nothing better to do (insert sarcasm) I played around with a few of the pictures. I know, it's super silly - and not very good - but it's the little things that are making me happy these days.

I guess they're like TSwiz - dropping 3 albums in a year. Quite an accomplishment though for only being 1 years old!! 🤣🤣 

songs from a pandemic

Ripley & Kai    2021

feat. The OG - Figment

Rainy Days and Shelties