For What It's Worth

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Review: The Roommate by Rosie Danan

House Rules:

Do your own dishes

Knock before entering the bathroom

Never look up your roommate online

The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.

After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet...

Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too. ~ Goodreads

Source: arc provided by the Berkley Publishing via Netgalley

The bookpusher: Amber from DuLivre

Review: The Roommate is the latest must-read romance. I went into without knowing much or having high expectations so I wasn’t overly disappointed that it still wasn’t THE rom-com that I so desire. (fyi - this isn’t a rom-com but is light, fun & sexy)

Even so, I found a lot to like & a few quibbles along the way.

Clara is a pampered socialite from the infamous east coast Wheaton family. She tries to be the perfect daughter and never cause a scandal that will make her mother be disappointed in her, as has befallen so many in the family, including, recently, her brother. She does need a change though and decides to strike out on her own so she heads to LA to live with her best friend Everett, her lifelong crush, and to try to make him see her in a new romantic light. At the last minute Everette bails to go on the road with his band and instead sublets his room with a renter he found on Craig’s List.

Josh is said roommate and is messy and low-key in all the ways that Clara is organized and uptight. He’s pretty great about following her (laminated) list of rules though and they make the best of an awkward situation until Clara finds out about Josh’s profession as a porn star.

I love how this book made Clara and Josh go outside their comfort zones without changing who they were at their core. Josh helps Clara push outside her sexual boundaries and reconsiders his judgement of rich socialites, while Clara sees there’s more to Josh and other workers in the industry.

There are sexy times but they both keep getting in heir own way because of Clara’s fear of causing another scandal for her parents and Josh being afraid of failing Clara as he did his parents (who he hasn’t spoken to) after getting into porn.

😍What I loved: Clara really learns to break out on her own. She makes unconventional and empowering choices in her professional life. 

Josh is a good guy backed into a corner both personally and professionally. He could have made a lot of bad choices but he thought outside the box and I just really like how that all turned out - especially professionally for all involved..

Josh and Clara were adorable together. Honestly, their sex scenes fell kind of flat (& cliché) for me but I adored those little thoughtful gestures they did for each other & the long conversations they had. There’s also a great grand gesture moment.

😒The not so much: Clara and Josh have a lot of family baggage. This is a HUGE part of the story – it propels the romance and the personal conflict and wasn’t addressed enough for me. Or at all in one case.

This is kind of spoilery so I’ll tag it.

SPOILER –>  Josh’s family rejection was resolved with a 30 second conversation and was all a misunderstanding after the book of him made it seem like his whole family spent a lifetime knocking him down and making him feel unworthy. I guess that wasn't the case?

And Clara’s … the entire book, from basically page 1, keeps talking about how her family HATES scandal, She’s terrified to upset her mother. She lies to her the entire book – yet the author just skips over it to the epilogue where her family loves Josh and is having a family holiday dinner with porn stars and their daughter owns a porn filming business. Yet that conversation is never shown - where she gets the courage to stand up to them, how they react, how she wins them over?

That was a big deal to me and really dragged my overall opinion down.

And I think the author really tried to have it both ways regarding sex work. She (successfully) educated the reader about sex workers but then conveniently made sure Josh never had sex on film once meeting Clara. I'm not sure how readers would have felt about that but I have read a few books that did it well. One of my favorites is the Curio series by Cara McKenna but that's more erotica  <- END SPOILER

There is also a side story concerning Clara’s job with her aunt, a politician and a slimy porn company – again resolved in a way that left me wanting.

I hate dragging on a super popular book - but I also like to manage my own reader expectations and like to read multiple opinions so I know going in what to expect. 

The end was a pretty big letdown for me - the driving force to a lot of these plotlines were ignored or wrapped up too quickly but I will say I'm happy to have read The Roommates. It was the light, sexy fun read I was looking for and solid on the romance front. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Tell Me Something tuesday


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: What are some of your bad reading habits you kicked or want to get rid of?

Answer: As I mentioned last week – I don’t really have reading habits so I’m straying a bit to include reading as it pertains to blogging.

I no longer bite off more than I can chew. I rarely request books now so no deadlines.

I’m taking chances trying new genres but I’m also getting better at narrowing down what I like – and dnf’ing what I don’t - instead of forcing myself to read things I’m not enjoying.

I don’t hoard books anymore. That could be a pro or con depending what kind of bookworm you are lol I ended up purging so many books when I moved and realized I didn’t really need them or even get to half of them.

Bottom line - I don't need habits - good or bad - because reading is a hobby and for fun so...

via GIPHY

Monday, September 21, 2020

Let it Go…Let it Go!

via GIPHY

I've been reading outside my comfort zone a lot lately. Especially with audiobooks because I tend to like a lot of different genres in that format.

but...

I’m finally learning to let a book that’s not working for me go so this is my spin on Lindsi’s DNF&Y feature where she talks about the books she didn’t finish but explains why they might work for you.


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman ~ Goodreads “This is a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.”

Source: Libro.fm and Atria books in exchange for an honest review

Why I dnf’d – This is not my typical kind of book so this was an outside my comfort zone read.  I listened to it on audio and there’s a full cast of characters (one narrator) and so many of the voices grated. But to be honest, it wouldn’t have worked in any format for me.

The story takes place during a failed bank robbery turned hostage situation and bounces around between the pov’s of the robber, the hostages and the police officers investigating the incident and alternates between the past and the robbery, slowly layering the story with twists and unlikely connections.

With the exception of the father, son police partners and the robber – I stopped caring about any of these people. I found the authors effort to show the human condition super heavy handed with every possible topic ever (often in bizarrely quirky ways) and then - we should all get along despite our differences! It’s nto that I disagree – it just felt very forced to me.

Why you might like it more – If you like a (slightly quirky) exploration of the human condition, with flawed characters and the theme that one small action can have reverberations far beyond that one moment in time.


Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema by Lindy West ~ Goodreads “New York Times opinion writer and bestselling author Lindy West was once the in-house movie critic for Seattle's alternative newsweekly The Stranger, where she covered film with brutal honesty and giddy irreverence. In Shit, Actually, Lindy West returns to those roots, re-examining beloved and iconic movies from the past 40 years with an eye toward the big questions of our time: Is Twilight the horniest movie in history? Why do the zebras in The Lion King trust Mufasa--who is a lion--to look out for their best interests? Why did anyone bother making any more movies after The Fugitive achieved perfection? And, my god, why don't any of the women in Love, Actually ever fucking talk?!”

Source: Libro.fm and Hatchette Books in exchange for an honest review

Why I dnf’d: Since the pandemic started, I’ve had a weekly, virtual movie date with a friend where we watch and snark text a movie. Kevin and I also watch movies this way so I thought for sure this book was made for me.

It’s not baaaad but it wasn’t that funny either. West tackles one movie for each chapter (Forest Gump, The Fugitive, Harry Potter, Twilight to name a few) and basically recaps the entire movie scene for scene with added commentary and that…got a little old. I would have rather watched the movie again and make fun of it myself or just binge Honest Trailer videos all day.

When I first started getting into audiobooks, I was sure essays and biogrophies would be the easiest for me since you can drop it and pick up again without losing the thread but I’m finding them super boring for some reason. The humor feels forced to me with a lot of these narrators.

Why you might like it more: If you’re a fan of essays, pop culture, snarky humor and a movie buff this is worth giving a go.