Part 5?! Oh my gosh.
Five Children & It by E. Nesbit – 4*
Nesbit’s work is just classic – children having magical adventures and everything is perfect. In this story, a group of siblings discover a magical being (the “It” of the title) who grants them one wish a day. Of course the wishes don’t always play out the way the children anticipate, and sometimes saying “I wish—” without intending it to be your wish causes extra complications as well. All in all just good, clean fun.
Seaside Reunion by Irene Hannon – 3.5*
This is a gentle and rather uneventful romance that takes place in a small town in northern California. A young widow has moved back to town several years ago to help her dad with their family store. When the story opens, a guy who lived there for just a year or so when he was little comes back for a visit – it was the happiest place of his difficult childhood, and he wants to see it again. While nothing particularly ground-breaking happens, it’s a nice story to while away some time.
Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren – 4*
This is a borderline 3.5* and I keep going back and forth. There was a lot about this book that I really enjoyed, most of which can be categorized as “snark.” The idea is that both the main characters work for competing companies that represent actors, so despite the fact that they hit it off really well, they aren’t sure that their high-pressure jobs will let them date. Things get even worse when their companies unexpectedly merge – and Evie’s boss – now also Carter’s boss – announces that the company can only afford one of them, so they’re going to have to basically duke it out to decide who stays. So their flirting turns into pranking (some of which felt a little ridiculous for two adults) with an undercurrent of seriousness. My main problem with this book was that the boss was SUCH a horrible jerk. I literally had to flip to the end of this book to make sure that he got some kind of comeuppance because he made my teeth hurt every time he was on the page. That plus a little too much sex is what kept this book from being a hearty 4*. In the end, another fun and fluffy read, but not one that I truly fell in love with.
The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit – 4*
The sequel to Five Children & It, this book takes place the next year when the children are back to living in town. They get a new carpet for the playroom, and an odd rock falls out of it – which turns out to be a phoenix egg. The rest of the book is taken up with regular Nesbit shenanigans, with many wishes not quite going the way one would hope. Nesbit’s books are always happy and fun, and so relaxing.