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  • Writer's picturehaleylynnthomas22

Did I Find the Perfect Fall Read? (Tailored Book Recommendations Review)

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

I was introduced to this service by one of my favorite Youtubers, Kayla from BooksandLala. Essentially, you fill out a survey about your favorite books and what you like/look for in books, etc. They then match you with a bibliologist who recommends you three books to read. I want to stress that I am a paying customer just like everyone else, so you can be assured that my reviews of the books I was recommended are not at all biased.

1. A CURIOUS BEGINNING by Deanna Raybourn (Adult Historical Mystery)
In 1887 London, Veronica Speedwell is a free spirited world traveler with a mind for science. When her life is endangered by a mysterious enemy she teams up with the friend of a friend, Stoker, to uncover the truth.
The pairing of Veronica and Stoker works well because they are very similar personality wise. They’re both interested in the sciences, highly intelligent, and sort of socially inept. I anticipated a romance blossoming between the two but it didn’t actually happen. I do think this book sets them up for one in future books, though. I love reading books with empowered female protagonists, but I will say that at times Veronica annoyed me because she had a superiority complex.
I like a good genre bending book and that’s what we have here. This is both a historical fiction as well as a mystery. I will say that while I liked the plot enough every time Veronica and Stoker discussed their previous expeditions I kind of wished I was reading about those instead. I probably won’t continue reading this series but I liked this book well enough.

2. BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL by Sharon C. Cooper (Adult Romance)
Dreamy Daniels is an aspiring business woman and Karter Redford is a wealthy venture capitalist. The two are complete opposites but they find themselves falling in love.
This was definitely my favorite of the trio of books I was recommended. This is a light, fluffy, quick romance with significantly less drama and miscommunication than I’m used to reading in romance books. If you, like me, love the genre but get tired from how repetitive it can be then I recommend picking this up as well!
Dreamy is a creative and eccentric protagonist without being too manic pixie dream girl. Karter, meanwhile, was surprisingly down to earth and generous despite being incredibly wealthy. They have a pretty big age gap and wealth gap as well, but they’re also like minded so they make a great couple. Karter never spoke down to Dreamy despite her being younger and Dreamy never took advantage of Karter’s wealth and status – they had such genuine chemistry.
My only nitpicks are that Dreamy’s obsession with winning the lottery to fund her business was foolish and I didn’t like Karter’s sister buying him a dog as a present – living things should NEVER be a surprise gift.

3. LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS by Aiden Thomas (YA Fantasy)
Wendy and her brothers vanished five years ago and only she returned, but she has no memories of her time while she was missing. When children in her town start going missing again she must team up with Peter Pan to rescue them.
Even though I received my recommendations in the summer I’m so glad I waited to read this one until the start of fall. The slow, gloomy, and even ominous mood of this story really lends itself perfectly to the coming season. If you are grieving currently then I wouldn’t recommend reading this book, however, because it deals heavily with both Wendy’s individual experiences with it and how it has impacted her family. This may be a YA book, but it goes DARK dark.
I can’t speak on its merits as a Peter Pan retelling. My only experience with Peter Pan is watching the Disney movie as a child and even that was many years ago. I must confess, however, that Peter has a character in this book kind of irked me. I can’t even pinpoint exactly why. Also, the romance between him and Wendy was so strange. This book REALLY didn’t need a romance.

I enjoyed all three of these recommendations. Of the three authors, Sharon C. Cooper and Aiden Thomas are ones whom I will likely return to read more from. Overall, this was a very successful set and I look forward to what will come this month from them. I am specifically requesting a Christmas romance since this next set is for the October-January months.
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