Things You Save in a Fire – Katherine Center | A Book Review

Things You Save in a Fire - Katherine Center

Title: Things You Save in a Fire

Author: Katherine Center

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About the book: It’s a standalone that follows Cassie Hanwell, a firefighter in a Texas firehouse. who has seen her share of emergencies. When Cassie’s estranged mother asks her for help, Cassie moves to Boston. Although the other firemen aren’t thrilled about having her join the crew, the new rookie doesn’t seem to mind. Despite the fact Cassie’s old captain told her never to date firefighters, she starts to fall for the rookie.

First impressions: The title and cover piqued my interest. I’m not a big romance reader, but I was looking forward to seeing this story play out because the premise sounded promising.

Characters: I enjoyed Cassie’s character arc and found myself rooting for her. It was easy to relate to many of the characters. I adore Cassie and the rookie as individuals, which made it even fun to watch their relationship develop.


“It was always the moments you didn’t expect that haunted you the most.”

Writing: It’s a little under 350 pages with short chapters. I enjoyed how Center explores different themes like courage, forgiveness, and love. The novel also looks at important issues like abandonment and addiction.

Final thoughts: There are some interesting twists along the way. The ending and epilogue provide closure as they answer lingering questions. The book is about a love story, but it’s also so much more than that. If you’re a fan of romantic stories about strength and vulnerability, I’d highly recommend Things You Save in a Fire.

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The Rumor – Elin Hilderbrand | A Book Review

The Rumor - Elin Hilderbrand

Title: The Rumor

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About the book: It’s a standalone that follows two best friends in Madeline King and Grace Panick. Madeline is a novelist, but she struggles with writer’s block and a looming deadline for her next book. Grace works with a landscape architect to transform her family’s backyard, yet she gets a little too close to him. As the small town of Nantucket gossip about them, the two women try to set the record straight.

First impressions: I was curious to see how the story would unfold. As a writer myself, I felt especially interested in Madeline’s perspective because I thought I would resonate with her challenges.

Characters: The novel revolves around Madeline, Grace, and their families. I didn’t expect the story to have so many secondary characters with uncommon names. That said, it wasn’t too confusing to keep track of everyone. The two women are different with their own flaws and problems.


“There was nothing in the world, she decided, that wounded like silence.”

Writing: It’s almost 350 pages with short chapter breaks. There are multiple points of view, but I found it easy to follow. Even though the plot isn’t too hard to predict, the pacing didn’t feel too slow. Hilderbrand explores a variety of issues, some more mature than others.

Final thoughts: I think the ending does a good job wrapping things up and providing closure. If you’re looking for a story about family and friendships, check out The Rumor. It’s a fun, fast read about romance and betrayal.

You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!


The Beauty of the Moment – Tanaz Bhathena | A Book Review

The Beauty of the Moment - Tanaz Bhathena

Title: The Beauty of the Moment

Author: Tanaz Bhathena

Genre: Contemporary

About the book: It alternates between the perspectives of Susan Thomas and Malcolm Vakil who meet at school, fall for each other, drift apart, and reconnect again.

This post is part of a blog tour hosted by Penguin. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I like the cover and title. Even though I don’t read a lot of romance, I found the premise intriguing.

Characters: I love the racial diversity. It was easy to like both Susan, the new girl, and Malcolm, the bad boy. The secondary characters complement the two main protagonists as well.


“Nothing that’s truly meant for you can be taken away.”

Writing: The language is simple and easy to follow. I loved that the story is set in Canada. Neither perspective overtakes the other. I enjoyed the short chapters and the alternating viewpoints.

Final thoughts: I’m a fan of how the plot played out. Relationships are messy and imperfect after all. The ending is my favourite part of the novel. Bhathena crafted a realistic story that will resonate with many readers regardless of age, race, etc.

I highly recommend The Beauty of the Moment, especially for lovers of contemporary romance.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!


Pick One: Fiction Tropes

Below I pit two fiction tropes against each other and pick the one I prefer.

Overly protective brother overly protective father?

Brother. I love this trope so much.

Haters to lovers or lovers to haters?

Even though I’m not the biggest romance reader, I enjoy a good haters to lovers storyline. Certainly more than love at first sight, gets married next month.

Haters to lovers or enemies to friends?

Enemies to friends. I’m here for platonic relationships.

Love triangle or love square?

I don’t love either, but I’ll go with a square. The more the merrier, I guess.

Rags to riches or riches to rags?

The former. I want characters to succeed.

A hero or an anti-hero?

Anti-hero. Not everyone can be brave and courageous or save the world, am I right?

Vampires or werewolves?

Thanks to Christopher Pike, vampire books gave me life as a teenager.

Funny friend or smart sidekick?

Give me both any day, but I often relate to a smart sidekick more. I’m just not funny.

Real dating or fake dating?

The latter all the way. It’s fun reading about people who have to pretend they’re in love.

I’d love to know which fiction tropes you would pick.

Creative Writing

Love Each Other | A Poem

we take our losses in stride

can’t win every time

after all we know what it’s like

to be the underdog

with nothing to lose

but a lot to prove

there’s nothing we can’t do

because our love for each other

is all that matters


This Or That: Book Genre Edition

Prose or poetry?

I’ve read more poetry this year because I took a contemporary poetry course in university. I’ve also written a lot of poems this year as well. But I love reading prose more than anything.

Young adult or adult?

This is tough. Some of my favourite books are young adult. Now that I’m older, I enjoy more mature stories as well. That said, it’s easier for me to relate to young characters.

Romance or paranormal?

I’m not the biggest fan of either. Please don’t come for me. Depending on my mood, I’ll probably reach for a romantic story instead of a paranormal one.

Fantasy or mystery?

These may be my two favourite genres in general. I’m a huge sucker for mystery stories. I can’t write one to save my life though.


A Q&A About Book Genres

Questions. Answers. Book genres.

What’s your favourite genre?

That’s a tough one. As of right now, I have to say thriller. Any type. Legal, medical, even political. I’m not the biggest fan of politics, even though I took a class in high school. Shudders.

Least favourite?

Romance. Or anything remotely resembling it. Thanks but no thanks. Maybe when I have a boyfriend, I won’t roll my eyes while reading romantic scenes, but I can’t make any guarantees.

What genre(s) do you write?

Realistic fiction because contemporary young adult is all I know how to write.

Which ones do you read?

Almost everything. You name it, I probably read it, unless the book involves two main characters falling in love within the space of two pages.

What do you want to read more of?

Historical fiction hands down. I don’t read enough about history, but whenever I do, I tend to enjoy the story.

Read less of?

Chick lit romance. Duly noted.

The first genre you fell in love with?

Realistic fiction in general. I went through middle grade chapter books like a girl with nothing better to do. Because I had nothing better to do.

Any you’ve fallen out of love with?

I used to read manga and comics. I haven’t fallen out of love with them per se, but perhaps I’ve fallen more in love with other genres. Maybe I’ll pick them up again in my retirement.

The genre associated with your favourite book or author?

Young adult fantasy and science fiction. I’ve come to appreciate these books more than I used to when I was a narrow-minded kid.

The genre associated with your least favourite book or author?

I kid you not, it’s a young adult fantasy and science fiction. Huh.

The most hit or miss genre in your opinion?

This might explain my two previous answers. Fantasy and science fiction by far. The author either hits the mark or misses it completely for me.

An underrated genre?

All of them. Sports fiction specifically.

Most challenging genre to read or write?

An epic fantasy because I don’t have the chops to pull that sort of book off. Exhibit A: what’s world-building…

As always, I’d love to know your answers in the comments below. Or you could write a blog post answering the questions above.


Two Genres, Pick One, Some Explanation

Remember this? It’s back. Sort of.

I pit two genres against each other, I choose the one I prefer, and I offer a bit of an explanation. (Because I’m trying to be less lazy and more productive.)

Mystery vs. Fantasy

This is tough. Why did I start with this one? Sorry fantasy, mystery wins. Blame Baldacci.

Realistic Fiction vs. Science Fiction

I’ve always loved realistic fiction because I can understand what’s going on most of the time. Science fiction tends to go over my tiny head.

Horror vs. Thriller

I read King as a kid, so horror for sure.

Action vs. Adventure 

They are quite similar. I like action movies but adventure books. That’s fair, right? I’m not discriminating!

Magical Realism vs. Surrealism

I’ve encountered more magical realism than surrealism, which says a lot since I barely grasp the concept of surrealism.

Romance vs. Comedy

Love triangles will be the death of me. Any novel that can make me laugh out loud is a winner in my books.

Perhaps I’ll do this again with other genres in the distant future.

Let me know your answers. I’m curious. Create your own post or leave a comment down below. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I promise.