ARC Review: Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Love, Lists and Fancy Ships

4.5 Stars

Book Info

Released: November 23 2021
Genre: Womens Fiction
Published by Berkley Books
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
 

“I found myself laughing and crying in alternating chapters.”

~ Under the Covers

Recommended Read!

Jo Walker, a stewardess on a luxury yacht, is turning 30 this summer. She has a successful blog telling the story of her 30 before 30 bucket list, but after tragedy struck her family at the beginning of charter season, she hasn’t been making a much progress on her list or found the energy to write the upbeat and positive posts her blog followers are expecting. As charter season ends and summer begins, Jo is ready to tackle the last eight items on her list, including kissing a stranger, running a marathon and visiting the last of 10 new countries. Unexpectedly, her nieces turn up to spend the summer with her at her condo in Florida, forcing Jo to rearrange her summer plans and expectations for finishing her blog. Also unexpectedly, the stranger she kissed? Her new neighbor, dad to her nieces’ new best friend, and new chef on the yacht for the summer. Both Jo and Alex swear they have sworn off dating; Jo wants to focus finishing out her list, distracting her nieces from their grief and avoiding any additional emotional attachments. But as Jo and Alex grow closer and the end of the summer looms, Jo begins to learn that keeping distance doesn’t always mean keeping hurt away.

This book was absolutely amazing. It deals with some incredibly heavy topics; all of the main characters in this story have suffered an intense loss of some kind, but Sarah manages to balance these intense emotions with hilarious and accessible writing and banter the reader can find themselves getting lost in. I found myself laughing and crying in alternating chapters. The relationships in Jo’s family are strained by grief but are also incredibly strong and close- anyone who has a close relationship with a sibling and/or niece/nephew is going to find something to relate to in this one.

I loved watching Jo and Alex grow closer and found myself caught up in their tension and Jo’s uncertainty of Alex’s feelings for her. I don’t make it any secret that I prefer some steam and heat in my books, but when an author creates such incredible emotional intimacy and connection between characters, like she did between Alex and Jo, I find that I don’t even miss it even a little bit.

This book might hard for anyone who has recently suffered the loss of a loved one, but when you feel ready to read about these topics, Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships will take good care of you and guide you safely through the journey. Tackling various forms of grief from the perspective of Jo, her nieces and even her sister, this story really gives a multi-dimensional view of a family trying to find a way to carry on. Yes, the romance is there, and it’s great, but at the end of the day, what I’ll remember about this is the way that the characters, related by blood and by friendship, were able to count on and lean on each other. I will recommend it to everyone and anyone for a long, long time.



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About Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Sarah Grunder Ruiz is a writer, educator, and karaoke enthusiast. Originally from South Florida, she now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and two children. She holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University, where she now teaches First-Year Writing.

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ARC Review: Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder RuizARC Review: Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

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Amy R

Thanks for the review.