Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Hit & A Miss: The Girl He Used To Know by Tracy Garvis Graves & Team Player by Julianna Keyes


by Tracy Garvis Graves
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 2nd 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

This review contains spoilers.

Umm. This book was quite something. I haven't read anything from this author before but I had heard such good things from other reviewers. I was excited to try The Girl He Used to Know since it features a second chance romance and an autistic heroine. It started off on a decent note. I was easily swept into the story. The writing certainly felt stilted to me. I initially attributed that to the heroine being autistic, but even the hero's voice was rather robotic. The Girl He Used to Know is the story of Annika, an autistic young woman, and Jonathan, a young man she slowly falls in love with. Annika was an interesting enough character. I haven't read many stories told through the points of view of neurodiverse characters, so I enjoyed getting to know some of the intricacies of individuals with autism through Annika. I liked Annika's character, but Jonathan I seemed to struggle with. I can't exactly pinpoint what it was about him that bugged me, but perhaps it was his lack of personality. As a result, I just didn't care for the romance. All that being said, this book was heading towards the 3 stars direction until the concluding chapters. The author decided to use 9/11 to create conflict in the romance, but I found that to be quite disrespectful. There are just some real-life historical events that shouldn't be used as a plot point in my opinion, and 9/11 is one of those. In the end, this book left me with a bad taste. I do seem to be a bit of a black sheep when it comes to this book, so if this sounds like it would work for you, I say go for it.



by Julianna Keyes
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 28th 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷

Julianna Keyes has yet to disappoint me with her books. There's something about her writing that I find very comforting. I was excited to see that she was releasing a new sports romance and I didn't hesitate to request a copy. Team Player was a low-key book, in my opinion, and that made it a story that was very easy to sink into. I enjoyed both Gwen and Ty's characters. They were both very likeable. Gwen was hardworking, brave, and very kind. She had recently lost her aunt who she was very close to. Her aunt was the reason she had gotten a job with the Trashers. There was a sadness and loneliness to Gwen that I found relatable. She was surrounded by all these people in her life, but she was still alone. I was really glad when she and Ty formed a friendship with each other. Ty was equally lonely in his life despite his fame as a baseball player. Their relationship was sweet and they had decent chemistry with each other. It obviously wasn't without its obstacles, but I never doubted that they would make it until the end. This was also my first baseball romance. It's not a sport I've read in romance and not that one I know anything about, so I was happy that Julianna Keyes spent some time really delving into the politics of the sport. Overall, I quite enjoyed Team Player and I look forward to reading more from this series.

Have you read anything from either author? What are your favorite books from them?
Let me know in the comments below!