Author: Katee Robert
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Cheers Factor: 3.5/5
Pairing: Where Darkness Meets the Light
This cocktail is super simple and has literally two ingredients, but the flavors all work really well together. It’s essentially a gin and soda with mango. Plus it has this really vibrant color contrast that reminds me of neon signs and I felt it worked really well with this title.
-1.5 oz empress gin
-¾ of a can of Mango Bubbly
-Fill a short glass with ice
-Add in bubbly leaving enough room for the gin
-Using a stirring spoon gently layer the gin on top
Take a shot: What if the greek gods lived today and Olympus was a place here on earth? What if Hades used a cellphone and had a Christian Grey style of interests? Well look no further you get all the spice with this Hades and Persephone retelling.
Truly this was the best aspect of the novel. I think the setting was very interesting, setting up Hades as simply being in the lower city as the designation of Hell instead of traditional ways of showing where he resides. I also think the setting was very easy to see and create in my head.
I did like the characters oddly more than I do usually in this genre. However, I was quite annoyed with the repetition of things the characters did. I’m not a huge fan of the damsel concept anyway and it was so present in this. Like Persephone constantly needing to be taken care of by Hades because she forgets to eat or walks too long and over tires herself? It felt a little condescending and almost manufactured. I know everyone wants to be taken care of that way, but it just felt grating a little.
Plots and Themes
There was a real plot with a beginning, middle and end. That was a great addition because again in this genre plots can sometimes fall a little flat. I wish we had more resolution with the mother storyline, but I know there’s going to be more installments. I also wish there had been a little more elaboration on a number of small moments. It would have truly made a difference and I’m curious as to what future installments will bring.
This was a pleasant and quick read that I liked. It was an easy read and was paced well enough that I felt invested in the characters. Overall, I really liked it and will be reading future installments.
Too strong - The character traits of neglectful damsel and overprotective male love interest
Raise a Glass - Exhibitionism, dark and broody love interest, his name is Hades
Warning spoilers ahead if you click read more. Proceed at your own risk.
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Cheers Factor: 3/5
Pairing: Not My Vacation
This tropical drink fits this book because it’s a great summer travel read. I also like that it’s a tropical inspired drink that someone traveling would be expecting, only Cassie is the one who would be serving said drink because she’s not the one on vacation she just does her job at 35,000 ft.
-2 ½ oz Empress Gin
-2oz Pineapple Juice
-2oz Lemon Juice
-1oz Orgeat Syrup
-Optional Pineapple Wedge
-Combine pineapple juice, lemon juice and orgeat syrup in a shaker with ice and shake
-Strain into a Tom Collins glass over fresh ice
-Layer gin on top
-Optional Garnish with Pineapple wedge or edible flower (if it’s not edible just don’t eat it)
“The truth was, there was nothing casual about casual sex.”
Take a Shot: Cassie is a flight attendant that lives the lifestyle to the fullest. With no ties she finds herself living dangerously and drinking her free time away. That is until she wakes up in the bed of the cute guy from 2C in the first class cabin on her route to Dubai and rolls over to find him dead and herself covered in his blood. To make things worse she has no recollection of the night before due to her blackout and she knows she has to leave or be charged in Dubai for his murder.
“In the meantime, she would brace for impact.”
I really love the idea of having a flight attendant be the main character because of all the fun places the book can take place. Like I loved that we go from Dubai to New York then to Italy. I also love the travel references of first class cabins and all the joys that come from fun international travel. It reminded me of the fun times that I have had while internationally traveling prior to the pandemic.
I hated Cassie. Like really almost the entire time I didn’t feel like I was rooting for her. It pissed me off the way she acted and the way that she was so immature about a lot of serious situations. I did like the depiction of her addiction because that felt real and I guess it influenced her personality and her decision making, but it still made me angry. I really loved Enrico though and he saved it for me. I would love to date a cute Italian bartender who is as sweet as him.
Plots and Themes
I liked the plot of this book, but it kind of had me bored. I have a feeling that the TV show made it more sensational than the book did. A lot of the investigation made me hesitant to believe that it was accurate. It just felt predictable and slightly boring.
If you are a fan of The Girl on the Train or anything by Gillian Flynn you will like this. It’s a good thriller type mystery novel that I did really like, but it wasn’t entirely my favorite. It was, however a good vacation read.
Reasons to Raise a Glass: Easy travel book, thriller aspects, murder mystery
Too Strong: Cassie’s personality, seemingly low stakes despite it being a murder?
Warning spoilers ahead if you click read more. Do not click read more unless you want spoilers!
Author: Rebecca Serle
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Cheers Factor: 4/5
Pairing: Bright Side
This is a light pairing that’s super tasty and reminds me of our main characters best friend Bella. It also reminds me of my best friend Bella with the light taste and possibilities for cute presentation.
1 ½ oz gin (I used Breckenridge)
½ oz Aperol
1 oz lemon juice
1 egg white
-Fill shaker with ice
-Add gin, aperol, lemon juice and egg white to shaker
-Shake for about a minute
-Strain into a glass without ice
-Garnish with bitters and lemon wheel
“This is the thing she’s wanted forever. This right here. This is love.”
Take a Shot: Dannie has it all. The boyfriend, the work ethic, and soon to be the job after her interview. On the night of her engagement she falls asleep only to wake up five years later in a bed that isn’t hers, an apartment she’s never been in, in a neighborhood she detests, wearing a ring that isn’t her engagement ring and with a man who isn’t her fiancé. The catch is, it’s five years later. After an hour in this future time, Dannie returns to herself in present time and can’t shake the thought of her night five years from now.
“She is life incarnate. What would happen if we just pretended we’d never heard?”
I love the New York setting of this novel and it did a great job of not over explaining to the degree of becoming too minute in the details that I wouldn’t feel lost. Personally, I liked the details we were given and it was fitting
I didn’t love the characters individually, but I loved the relationships the characters had with one another. I loved the depth of the relationships that we didn’t see. It was reminiscent of Normal People to me which is beautifully private while still being a book. The friendship between the main character and our best friend is just so sweet and the kind of friendship that I feel like I don’t read frequently enough. I love the love displayed outside of romantic relationships towards other characters.
Plot and Themes
This one hit me with the We Were Liars kind of feel and I really liked the plot. It was meant to be a quick short novel so it felt somewhat underdeveloped and I don’t entirely love all of the insinuations throughout. However, I think it’s overall very moving and as someone who has experienced a lot of similar experiences to those depicted in the book it felt very real and raw.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loved We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and Normal People by Sally Rooney.
Reasons to Raise a Glass: friendship between main character and best friend, ending tie in
Too Strong: the pacing, realistic factors of real life were ignored
To read a more of my thoughts including spoilers click read more!
Author: Emma Straub
Plot and Themes: 2/5
Cheers Factor: 2/5
Pairing: Dirty Martini
Because there isn’t something that seems more adult than basically drinking vodka straight with olive juice.
-2 ounces Grey Goose Vodka (any good quality works but I personally like Grey Goose the best)
-1 ounce dry vermouth
-½ ounce olive brine
-In a shaker combine the vodka, vermouth and olive brine together with ice
-Stir together with a stirring spoon
-Strain into chilled martini glass
-skewer olives on toothpick and use for garnish
Take a Shot: Astrid is a mother to her three grown children with budding families of their own experiences, a life changing event that has her questioning everything about the way she is living her life. In a weird series of events all of her children end up back in their hometown and confront the demons of growing up and the imperfections that life brings about and parenting.
“For my parent’s who did their best and for my children, for whom I am doing mine.”
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!