Mini Review: Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess

Format Read: Paperback (ARC)

Rating: 4.5 stars

Hello, book friends! I just finished another fantastic book that I’m going to be thinking about and processing for quite some time. That means it’s time for a mini review! Many thanks to Simon & Shuster for the complimentary review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess is about Jess, who gets a job at Goldman Sachs… only to learn that one of her least favorite peers from college, Josh, works there too. Jess and Josh have never really agreed on anything, especially politics, which is why she’s surprised when he becomes her only work friend and occasional ally. They continue to argue about race and politics and ethics, but something else seems to be happening, too… sparks between them. But as their relationship deepens, so does the political turmoil leading up to the 2016 election, leading Jess to struggle between what she believes is right and her feelings for Josh.

I’ll admit, with a premise like that, I was a bit nervous this book would be one long stress cycle that never completes. But the instant I cracked it open and started reading, Rabess’ gorgeous writing pulled me in. The style and voice of this book really compelled me to linger to Jess’ inner world and made me want to keep reading even when, yes, it did get a bit stressful. There is a nice sharp bite of humor to this book that had me laughing out loud at times, even as I furrowed my brow in frustration at others.

This is not a light romance novel. It is a serious look at relationships and differences and tackles with the question of how much we can and should tolerate from our loved ones when it comes to their beliefs and actions. The characters are messy and real and don’t always do the right thing, and I definitely got frustrated with them at times. That said, there are some steamy and swoon-worthy moments tucked in amidst the struggles that Jess faces as she tries to make up her mind about the Josh problem.

I loved this book, and I am still thinking about this book and sitting with it. I think I will be for quite some time, which in my opinion is the mark of a book worth reading.

Everything’s Fine comes out this Tuesday, June 6th.


Mini Review: The Adventures of Amina Al-Sarafi

Format Read: Print (Hardcover)

Rating: 4 Stars

Happy Sunday, book friends! This is going to be quite a short mini-review for quite a long book, but I wanted to get a review out for this one since I know many of my book blogging friends are curious about this book!

When I saw The Adventures of Amina Al-Sarafi on the list for Book of the Month, I just had to grab a copy! This book follows a retired pirate, who gets roped in for one last job.

I loved this setup for a story and how we slowly learn more about Amina’s past as her current adventure unfolds. The story is in her voice, as narrated to a scribe, which allows for some pretty entertaining little asides throughout.

I will say that the story felt a bit slow to start for me, and it took a little while for me to settle in to the narration and the storytelling. Once I did, though, I was absolutely hooked! There’s adventure and intrigue, plus plenty of mentions about Amina’s bad knee (which, same). You don’t get to read a fantasy adventure with an older female main character too often, and I am here for it.

There were some great twists and turns in this one, and a good deal of suspense to keep things moving. While a few things here and there were a little predictable, other aspects very much were not. I was stoked to approach the end and realize it was setting up for a series! I can’t wait for the second book and more advtentures with the mythical pirate captain and her crew!