Book Review: Welcome Home, Caroline Kline by Courtney Preiss

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Welcome Home, Caroline Kline by Courtney Preiss opens with Caroline Kline couch surfing in New York City due to her no longer having a job and her fiance breaking up with her. The cherry on top is when Caroline finds out her father is not doing well and has to go home to New Jersey to help out. She finds one thing she didn't expect . . . true love. I received an Advanced Readers Copy of Welcome Home, Caroline Kline from NetGalley for free in exchange for my honest review.  The synopsis of this book was intriguing, and I absolutely love baseball, so I couldn't wait to dig in to this story. Unfortunately, the story started off a bit slow and continued to be slow at points throughout the book. The slowness of the plot made it difficult to stay interested in the characters and their fate.  At one point, I didn't really care if I finished the story or not. With that being said, I'm glad I stuck with the book because the last 15% of Welcome Home, Caroline Kline started to

Book Review: The Popularity Plan (Sweet Dreams, # 2) by Rosemary Vernon

sweet dreams, # 2
During a school book fair in middle school, I stumbled upon a teen romance series called Sweet Dreams. Each book in the series is actually a stand alone book. In addition, each book in the series is written by a different author with many of the authors penning several throughout the years.  I believe the first book I picked up was The Golden Girl (Sweet Dreams, # 169) by Jane Ballard, which was about a teenage girl who wins a contest to become the Trent's Department Store spokesperson. I loved the book and began reading more and more books from the series, which started in 1981. One of the books, The Popularity Plan (Sweet Dreams, # 2) by Rosemary Vernon was one that I desperately wanted to read but had trouble finding. I finally gave up looking in my college years.

Fast forward 15 years . . . buying used books on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com had become a popular thing, and they were making it easier to find them. ThriftBooks.com was advertising The Popularity Plan (Sweet Dreams, # 2) for sale on one or both of the sites. I honestly don't remember which site I saw it on, but I ended up buying it and with shipping. I just finally got around to reading it and finished over the weekend. What can I say? Being in multiple book clubs and running races keeps me busy!

The Popularity Plan (Sweet Dreams, # 2) is about a shy, teenage girl named Frannie, who is painfully shy and has trouble talking to boys. Frannie's friends cook up a plan to overcome her shyness by plotting scenarios to give her the excuse to practice talking to boys, which included dropping her pencil during class and calling boys for homework assignments.

If you're an adult reading this book, don't go into it with high expectations. The targeted age group for the series is 11 years old and up, so even though it is a romance book, it doesn't really go into sex in most of the books, and when they do, it is just hinted at. In The Popularity Plan, it only goes into dating and kissing boys. Because this book was first published in 1981, I don't think many tweens or teens would enjoy the book as much. Disco was mentioned as well as heart throbs from the late 70's and early 80's . . . Mark Hamill and Sean Cassidy. It took me just the tiniest second to register their names. And, the style of clothing Frannie wore would be considered nerdy by today's standards.

The thing that disappointed me the most in the book is that Frannie's friends were the stereotypical popular kids who only wanted her to date the most popular boys and couldn't understand why Frannie wanted to date the art "geek" who was a nobody. When Frannie no longer wanted to date the popular boys because she didn't like who she had become and explained this to them, her friends ditched her because all of their help had been wasted.  This was the thing I disliked most about the book, which is why I gave it only 3 stars. At least they became friends again at the end of the book. The main character did get the guy she wanted in the end, but it only happened in the last 10-15 pages of the book.

It didn't really live up to my expectations, but that is probably because I read it as an adult versus reading it as a tween or teen. However, I am super happy that I finally got to knock this off my to read list, and it was nostalgic to read a book from the series.

Are their any books from your childhood that you didn't read then but read as an adult? Did it live up to your expectations? Let me know in the comments.


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