2021 Releases Mini Reviews: Dial A For Aunties, Lost in The Never Woods, The Soulmate Equation

Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog! This year I have barely posted any reviews, mostly sticking to wrap ups and WWW updates but one of my goals for the year was to read more 2021 releases (which I’ve hardly been doing) so I figured to try and keep myself accountable I’d most some mini-reviews of 2021 releases and chat with you all about them!

🌈 ↣ queer characters
🎧 ↣ listened on audiobook

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DIAL A FOR AUNTIES – JESSE Q SUTANTO | ⭐⭐⭐

Adult, Mystery, Contemporary Romance, Family issues, Queer side characters / (soon to be adapted to screen) | 🎧

Goodreads Review / Storygraph Review

I thought I was going to love this and it was going to be a new favourite but unfortunately, it wasn’t! I really thought it was so funny in the beginning but I quickly fell out of love with this one. This was such a fun idea but by the end, too many things were going on and the plot was too convoluted. Also, and this is such a nitpick, I just didn’t think the “twist” at the end was very twisty since I called it from the very beginning and I never fell for the romance. I’ll definitely check out more of Jesse Sutanto’s books in the future, this one just wasn’t everything I wanted it to be.

Book Cover

LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS BY AIDEN THOMAS | ⭐⭐⭐

YA, Mystery, Fantasy | 🎧

Goodreads Review / Storygraph Review

“I think people are more frightening than the dark,” he said. “A person can stand right in front of you and be dangerous without you even knowing it.”

Aiden Thomas really said Rise of The Guardians but make it Peter Pan!

This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and while it wasn’t a total letdown, it definitely didn’t live up to how much I’d hyped it up in my head! I love Peter Pan retellings and there were aspects of this that I adored, like Aiden Thomas’ writing and the little insights we got into Peter, but other than that, this felt undercooked and like it needed to go through a few more edits before getting published.
This felt like a cliche fanfic idea that had a lot of potential but missed the mark! Some really interesting ideas and character descriptions that make me think this would’ve been better as an animation or graphic novel, rather than a book.

Originally, this was going to be a 4.5 ⭐ book but the more I read, the faster my rating fell. It was too slow, the characters were all one dimensional and the romance was distractingly uncomfortable. Also, side note: I feel like this book would have been even better as magical realism. I know a lot of readers have found it really confusing so I feel like that could’ve helped.

What I did like

  • I really like how Aiden Thomas has written this version of Peter. I’m partial to villain Peter BUT I also really like this interpretation of him. The lost boy who just wants to save all the other lost children. The boy who never wants to grow up. The boy who takes his “job” seriously and holds the safety and lives of all the lost children in the world on his shoulders.
  • I feel like this is a really cool AU version of Peter and I can really appreciate this version of him, I just wish we got to see more of it. I wonder what this book would’ve been like in his pov OR even dual pov. It probably would’ve moved faster and made the character less one dimensional.

TW: abusive/scary father, absent mother (mentally checked out), kidnapping, loss of a loved one (past), alcoholism (parent), ptsd, injury, violence

Book Cover

THE SOULMATE EQUATION BY CHRISTINA LAUREN | ⭐⭐⭐.75

Adult, Contemporary Romance, Single Mother, Family Issues, Discussion of Drugs and Money Issues | 🎧

Goodreads Review / Storygraph Review

I’m not totally sure if I want to give this a 4 or 3.5 ⭐ rating right now but I loved this! I wasn’t sure if this was going to be my jam at all, especially since I’m so iffy on the soulmates trope but this was such an interesting take on the whole idea and as always Christina Lauren drew me in with the cute romance! I also loved Jess and her daughter, they were such a cute duo!

Which 2021 releases have you read so far this year?
Which 2021 books are you most anticipating?

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