Annabel Monaghan

Teoksen Nora Goes Off Script tekijä

7+ teosta 1,014 jäsentä 69 arvostelua


Tekijän teokset

Nora Goes Off Script (2022) 465 kappaletta, 33 arvostelua
Same Time Next Summer (2023) 234 kappaletta, 15 arvostelua
A Girl Named Digit (2012) 166 kappaletta, 13 arvostelua
Summer Romance (2024) 87 kappaletta, 6 arvostelua
Double Digit (A Girl Named Digit) (2014) 53 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu

Associated Works

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I just listened to this whole book in two sessions. I spent about an hour with it last night, during which I thought I might abandon ship. I am a terrible person, I know this, but I have no patience for years of paralyzing grief and less patience for the concept of ghosts with whom the living have actual discussions where they get answers. That is where this book started. When Ali's ass of a husband leaves her on the first anniversary of her mother's death (this happens in the first 5 minutes, it is not a surprise) it felt like the author was doubling down on the trite. I loved Monahan's first book so I should have trusted things would improve, and so they did. I related so strongly to Ali (FMC) grappling with the realization that she has pushed down her feelings and made herself small and inconsequential through her marriage and that she had been encouraged to do so by her mother. I also always love a story of good parenting. All of that was good, but most of this was about two people finding their strength, and having a swoony small-town romance full of complications. When I feel stressed in my real life I love a swoony small-town romance full of complications. They work far better than drugs and alcohol and I feel better in the morning. Some of this was too pat and obvious, it didn't have the flow of Nora Goes Off Script, but I still listened to most of this in one long session (and scrubbed the grout in my shower to a blinding white while I did.) Also, I am sitting here with a big lump in my throat that is somehow satisfying, so I can't go lower than a 4 (we will say a 3.7.)

A couple of notes. This is totally closed-door, there is no sex on the page, just people falling onto a horizontal surface and chatting under the covers a bit later on. (I appreciated this because the MMC shares my son's name, and it sort of creeps me out when that name is used in graphic sex scenes.) Also, the narrator, Kristen DiMercurio, was just great. I have liked her narration of other books too and she has become a go-to reader for me.
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Narshkite | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 22, 2024 |
Recommended by Lauren B.

Nora lives with her kids Arthur and Bernadette in Laurel Ridge, a small town within driving distance of New York. Nora makes a living as a screenwriter, usually formulaic romances for the small screen, but her latest, The Tea House, is bigger and more autobiographical, and it's being filmed partly in her actual house and yard, which means starring man Leo Vance is there in real life....and after the allotted three days of filming, he doesn't leave. He falls into a routine with Nora and her kids, and he and Nora fall in love. Leo helps Arthur with his lines for the school play, Oliver Twist, and promises to be there opening night - but work takes him to LA, and he doesn't make it back in time. This echoes Nora's ex-husband Ben's actions (although Ben never promised to come back), and the three of them feel betrayed, abandoned, and heartbroken.


Months later, there's a premiere in New York, which Nora attends but flees before facing Leo; then, the Tea House is nominated for a slew of Oscars, and Nora flies to LA for the ceremony. Something is off; he seems to think she broke up with him, instead of him leaving her. The solution comes late in the story, when Arthur reveals a secret, enabling an air-clearing and a reunion.

Pure wish-fulfilment with plenty of self-awareness; low on the steamy scale, but with a good ex to hate (Ben is a jerk!) and a great, if not terribly developed, supporting cast (sister Penny, friend Kate, Nora's parents). Delicious.


At the corner of arrogance and cluelessness, you find the worst kind of person. (27)

The best antidote to old memories is new ones. (171)

"Love isn't something you need to earn." (Nora to Arthur, 242)
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JennyArch | 32 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 22, 2024 |
{stand alone; romance, second chance, summer, first love, beach, beach home, Long Island}(2023)

Wyatt and Sam grew up spending their summers together, since their families had summer homes on the beach next door to each other. And then they became inseperable - until he broke her heart when she was seventeen. Sam hasn't been to the beach to spend an entire summer since then, just long weekends, but now (the story is written in first person, present tense) she's taking Jack, her handsome dermatologist fiancé, to Long Island for the first time in the four years they've been together.

But then she discovers that Wyatt, whom she hasn't seen since they broke up so painfully, is there too and though she does her best not to her old feelings for him start to resurface.

I'm catching up on my review about three months after reading it. I noted at the time that I was not quite sure yet about this; the narration threw me off a bit. I chose the audio book because I really liked the audio of [Nora Goes off Script] read by Hillary Huber. But this was read by Brittany Pressley (& Dan Bittner for the 'Wyatt' chapters); both had a southern accent and dragged the ends of sentences which worked for Wyatt (it made him sound laid back which suited his character) but not so much for the narration - or, really, for Sam. And I couldn't always tell what was spoken vs thought. Pressley did have a good variety of voices, so I could tell who was speaking, but I was a little distracted by her style of narration. Mind you, it was not the worst I've heard by a long shot; I was just spoiled by Huber 😊

This story is narrated in the present and in flashbacks (Now and Then), going over the summers that Wyatt and Sam first met and then grew up together. You do have to be patient with this book; I made a note that by chapter 24 (of 61; about 2/5ths of the way in) we still hadn't got to the reason for Sam's and Wyatt's break-up.

I'm not sure where Monaghan comes out on therapy on this; on the one hand, it seems to have worked for Sam's family and (in the end) for Wyatt but it doesn't sound like 'Dr Judy' fully worked for Sam - though she may have helped pull her through a tough time.

I liked [Nora Goes off Script] better but I like both NGoS and [Same Time Next Summer] for being relatively sweet and innocent (one reviewer said 'closed door' which I assume means we don't get all the details of 'bedroom encounters'); it's the thrill of falling in love that gives me butterflies, not detailed physical descriptions. I didn't get much sense of Jack and I thought he was a bit easily dispensed with. It did seem as though Sam's family were throwing Wyatt and her together in spite of the fact that she and Jack were in Long Island to look for a wedding venue.

I liked this though it wasn't without flaws. I'm ready to read whatever Monaghan gives us next.

(March 2024)
maybe 3.5 stars
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humouress | 14 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 3, 2024 |
Recently-divorced Ali is ready to step back into the world of dating and hard pants, after wallowing in her sweatpants for some time. What she's looking for is a light summer romance. What she finds at a dog park meet-cute is Ethan -- and it's more complicated than she expected...

A solid read. I liked this better than Same Time Next Summer, the last Monaghan I read. Recommended for romance readers looking for something summery.
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foggidawn | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 26, 2024 |



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