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Welcome to Royally Pink. I'm Briana; I've been running Royally Pink for the past 9 years and have loved every minute of it.

I write about everything from beauty to fashion to mental health to career and book reviews.

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Book Review Wednesday: Books I Didn't Like, Vol 2

I do not like to be negative on the blog (contrary to me always complaining about my mental health) when it comes to product reviews... especially book reviews. Unlike beauty and fashion products, books are extremely subjective. There might be a book that I love and you hate compared to a lipstick that is dry and difficult to apply. 

On a monthly basis, I read a ton of books (I'm up to 71 this year and my goal was originally 60) and I don't always love them all. However, I never want to do a review where I just rip apart one singular book because like I said, reading is very personal and what you like might not be the same as mine. 

I figured that I would start doing these round-up posts of the books that just didn't do it for me, while still remaining kind and making sure I call out the fact that tastes vary. I wrote my first roundup in July and since then, have read some books that just didn't move the needle. 

Let's get into it!



Girl A by Abigail Dean



"Girl A" was one of my Book of the Month choices and I read it over the summer. It was not my favorite and I was sad about that because the summary sounded really exciting. What I figured out though was that the summary was way more exciting than the book. 

The writing was good and the idea was great but I felt like there was something missing within the story. This book read like a riddle to me and I was constantly confused; I kept feeling like I was missing something within the storytelling. It was laid out in a very choppy way and I felt that the book could've been better organized to make the story more compelling and understandable... though that might've been the point!

"Girl A" centers around a group of siblings whose parents get them into a cult where child abuse runs rampant and in the news, they had all the names "Girl A", "Boy A", etc. Girl A, the narrator, was extremely likable but as you meet the rest of her siblings, they are insufferable and just hard to understand and care about. That was definitely one of the reasons I really just couldn't get on board with this novel.

I will say that the part I did enjoy was the ending because it threw me for a loop; there is a major twist that I wasn't expecting, which also in turn made me sad because it was an upsetting twist. All in all, this book was hard to read because of the layout and because of the subject. 

Imposter Syndrome by Kathy Wang



This is another Book of the Month choice and wow, I was so disappointed. This is another book that the summary was a lot more exciting than the actual book. It reminded me of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes and I kind of expected it to go that route but I was very wrong.

"Imposter Syndrome" follows the story of an orphan turned Russian spy who then becomes head of a Silicone Valley startup all with the intention of stealing information to sell back to Russia. I don't know how to classify this book; it's not a thriller or mystery, it doesn't read like a drama... I guess it's just a fiction novel. 

I did enjoy the writing style, loved the plot because I like the idea of a Silicone Valley setting; I also really like the plot point of an employee taking down the troubled CEO but I liked Julia too much because I felt like she had a conscience but was still trying to look out for herself. Alice seemed a little too self-righteous and annoying for me to root for her. 

Just like "Girl A", this book was very confusing. I couldn't follow the plotline, kept getting thrown off by the characters, and I just never got used to it. The ending was also very anti-climatic and I didn't understand what was going on... it just abruptly ended without really having a true conclusion, it was very odd. 

To Sir With Love by Lauren Layne



This pains me to write because Lauren Layne is my favorite author. I love her easy-to-read romance novels and how everything always comes together in the end, just like your normal romantic comedy but "To Sir With Love", I simply couldn't get on board with it. It's very similar to a retelling of "You've Got Mail" with the big bad businessman coming in and shutting down a family-run business, but instead of books, it's champagne. I love champagne like it's part of my personality but this entire book fell so flat for me.

It seemed overly corny, there was too much information given upfront versus finding it out through the characters' interactions. The novel was slow at some points and too fast at others, which lead to the story being extremely predictable and slightly annoying.

I almost didn't finish this book but just wanted to see it through; the ending was really sweet and made me cry but there are so many other Lauren Layne books that knocked it out of the park, I'd just spend your time reading those!

I highly recommend her Central Park Pact series- they were the first Lauren Layne books I read and it made me fall in love with her! Read my reviews here: Passion on Park Avenue, Love on Lexington Ave, and Marriage on Madison Ave.

I also just finished reading her latest novel, "Made In Manhattan" which comes out in January (I received an arc from Net Galley) and I loved it so much!!! 

People Like Her by Ellery Llyod



I was so excited about this book! It had everything I love: mystery, thrilling plotline, and influencers! What more could you want from a novel? Well, I was very disappointed... also, it was another BOTM pick so maybe I just need some help picking better books?! 

This is very nitpicky but I hated how small the text in this book was; the pages were filled from top to bottom which obviously helped make the book shorter in pages but it was annoying to read. 

"People Like Her" read like someone who has never interacted with influencers; Emmy was written as an obnoxious, selfish, horrible person all because she has influence. It was really disheartening and annoying as someone who works in the industry. However, it also depicted a weirdly accurate look at the influencer business which I thought was interesting. 

The writing was ok but it was very long-winded with lots of unnecessary language and text. It was extremely drawn out and the build-up was slow and intense. One thing I did like was the layout and writing style of the book; the way you had someone writing to Emmy in their own POV and then switching to Emmy and her husband's POV. 

The ending was my favorite part and in a way, made the book worth it but it almost came out of nowhere. The book got very intense and thrilling fast, almost too fast, which I think could've been helped if it was paced better. 

Emmy herself was a horrible person but the person stalking her was so much worse, and the reason she was stalking her was so stupid, it made everything almost unbelievable. This book is a skip for me! 

What is a book that you've read lately that you just didn't vibe with?
xoxo
B