No Judgments

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

I received a digital ARC via NetGalley to review this book. I have always been a fan of Meg Cabot's so when I saw this was available I jumped on the chance to read it. Basically this book is just alright. The writing is pretty good, it's a decent plot, with decent characters. It is just an average book, if you are looking for a book to read on the beach, or something to read during a bubble bath that is easy and doesn't require too much thought this is the book for you. I personally don't buy into the insta love here and I don't appreciate the out on no where violence towards the end when Bree confronts her attacker, I think there is a different way she could have approached that situation. I did like the mini informative paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter with hurricane warnings and the Islands information. As far as this being the best book ever, it's not, but it is fun and quick and sexy. I loved all the parts with the animals, and the ocean descriptions were phenomenal.
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Bree is a 25 year old woman who escapes to the Florida Keys for a fresh start. After dealing with sexual assault at the hands of her boyfriend’s best friend, and receiving no support from her boyfriend or mother, Bree retreats to the island of Little Bridge. When news that a Category 5 hurricane is headed straight towards island, Bree hunkers down along with new friends, co-workers, and her boss’ very attractive nephew Drew. The storm weathered, Bree and Drew focus their attention on each other while tending to pets left behind as their owners fled the storm.

As a big mid-aughts Meg Cabot fan, I was excited to give this book a try. It was a very light read and at times enjoyable. However, there were also parts when I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and groan. I can forgive the over-abundance of troupes as I was expecting this novel to be very “rom-com” (woman retreats to an island frequented in her youth to find herself, bad boy has a soft side, Man is secretary obsessed with woman, etc) What I couldn’t look past, however, were a few really “out there” plot points that seemed far too outlandish to exist (see: guns, real biological moms) I enjoyed Bree’s penchant for protecting  the island’s animals, and I would have loved to see that fleshed out in a more thoughtful way. The romance plot was rushed and very one dimensional. 

Admittedly, this novel was not for me. However, I think that those looking for a light, somewhat silly but sweet story will enjoy this.
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3.5 stars.  I enjoyed this book but found myself skimming at times but I'm not sure why.  I enjoyed the characters and the background of the hurricane and all the animals.  I'm an animal lover myself but I just wanted a little something more from the romance.  It's a fun book and I'll be recommending it as that!  Plus I'm from Indiana and Meg Cabot is from here which makes her pretty popular!
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Meg Cabot is an author I will always read as I have been a fan since her Boy books.  This book had me a little worried before I read it due to the mixed reviews I have been seeing but for me, it didn't disappoint.  It was full of charm and fun characters. Bree has left her life in NYC after dealing with a combination of difficult life events and is living on Little Bridge Island.  As a cat 5 hurricane heads her way, Bree decided not to leave because of her very difficult cat.   This was honestly the only thing that bothered me about the story, as she did not have any prior experiences of riding out a hurricane.  Her decision to stay is the catalyst for all other events of the story,  as her choice to stay allows her to explore different relationships with the people she has already grown to care about on the island.  The story was full of danger, fun, and romance.  I wish there had been a touch more romance, but I found the character of Drew well written.  I also really liked the way that Cabot wrote the events of the 2nd half of the book, after the hurricane hits the small island.  I will continue to grab and devour book Cabot! Thank you negalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Another great RomCom by Meg Cabot. No Judgements is a very sweet story about a girl starting over in an island in the Florida Keys and the relationship that emerges between her and a local as they prepare for a hurricane. I liked everything about this book except for the slightly contrived backstory of the main character. She left her old life because of two traumatic events and either one would have been enough to start over. I felt the inclusion of both of them was too much and trying to hard to touch of multiple relevant social issues. Otherwise I was a fan and think anyone who likes Meg Cabot will enjoy this latest book.
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I had a lot of high hopes for this book. Growing up Cabot was always one of my favorite authors with her Princess Diaries series and a few others. I did like the main character Bree but the rest left me wishing for better development. I felt like the main love interest really only wanted to hurt people. I am all for animal rights and making sure animals are treated well, but that was the only angle I got from him. I was hoping there would have been more of a story and there really wasn't. I got through  this read quickly bu mainly because I just wanted to finish it. 

I thank NetGalley and Harper Collins for allowing me to have early access to this title to leave an honest review. I just wish I had a better review for them.
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Bree is weathering her first massive hurricane. She is lucky that she and her cat are able to stay with her boss and his family. She thinks that this hurricane isn’t as bad as she thought. She has recently rebuilt her life away for everyone and is happy to lay low.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can  She has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker. 

Bree is trying to focus on doing good and not focusing on the sexy man who is helping her. Can she keep her hands and her heart to herself?

Well written with great characters. I really enjoyed this book.
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Another fun read from Meg Cabot.  I can’t wait to read more in this series as the characters on the island are engaging and each have their own story.  I enjoyed also the hurricane tidbits at the beginning of each chapter. I found Bree’s mother not too believable and I thought the interactions with her a bit too annoying.
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No Judgments is a cute rom-com, but as I'm somewhat familiar with Meg Cabot's writing, nothing seems really new. It seems almost like an AU fan-fic, her  same characters have just been placed in another setting. 

Bree and Drew's romance also moved kind of quick for me.  It seemed like they never really had a conversation about anything, just a few moments of banter and then she was falling in love with him, so I didn't really get invested. 

Bree made some ridiculous choices also, for instance I understand confronting an attacker, but the gun situation seemed extreme, even more so when no one went to see what happened. Yes, she told them not to, but there was gunfire!

All in all, a cute and quick read, where I thoroughly enjoyed the setting, but the entire story didn't have much depth for me.
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So I might be biased, I am a huge Meg Cabot fan, but I did enjoy reading No Judgments. The first novel in the Little Bridge Island series, is about Bree Beckham, who has escaped to the island she visited with her family when she was a child, but her timing couldn't have been worse. She has lived on the island for a few months, and works as a waitress at the local diner where she meets the owner's nephew,  gruff and elusive Drew Hartwell. When a hurricane is projected to hit the island directly, her boss and Drew try to convince Bree to head to the mainland, which she refuses to do. When her apartment floods, she she is brought to her boss's house, by none other than Drew and they soon find themselves working together to rescue the animals who were left behind by their owners in a rush to escape the island. As Bree and Drew grow closer, her mother and ex-boyfriend fly to the island to convince her to return home. This is a typical enemies to lovers romance, with excellent side characters and a premise I have never read in a romance before. I look forward to the next book in the series, and I have a few side characters that I hope will have their chance at love in future novels. If you are a fan of past Meg Cabot romances then this will be a good book for you to pick up.
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I LOVED this book. It is a romance book, but to be honest it felt more like Bree falling in love with herself and deciding what makes her happy. And the man was just one part of that journey.
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I love Meg Cabot and I am always up for a new book from her, but I found the start of the Little Bridge Island series slightly disappointing. First, the good: I liked Bree, and I grew to like Drew as well. Their interactions were pretty cute, although sometimes perhaps a little too juvenile. (In regard to Drew: I love that all his dogs were named Bob!) I enjoyed getting to know some of the background characters, and assume we'll see more of them in later books.

The bad: I felt like the buildup and aftermath of the hurricane could have been handled better? The warnings were so dire (and as a Floridian, I do not understand deciding not to evacuate when you live on the flipping Keys!! That is how you die!), but then the storm turned out to be no big deal. I think I read that Cabot based this book off her experiences during Irma & Maria, which were no joke: the Keys were without power for days and days. But in the story, Drew's aunt and uncle had a generator running and it seemed like the power company showed up within a few days.

The subplot with Bree and Drew taking care of evacuees' pets similarly felt like it fell a little flat. I expected it to play more of a role into her deciding to stay on Little Bridge Island and pursue her art, but the two conflicts felt completely disconnected.

Bree's mother was made out to be a Nancy Grace-esque character, but ultimately that seemed not essential to her character? She could have just as easily been a wealthy New York lawyer, so I'm not sure why she needed to be a (presumably) right-wing legal radio host. Bree's conflict with her mother, as well as her ex and her assaulter, were dealt with a little too pat for my liking. I guess I expected there to be more to come, but the book wrapped up pretty quickly.
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Meg Cabot was my absolute favorite author as a teen, so everytime I see that she has a new book out, I get those flutters of excitement like I did when I saw a new Princess Diaries book on the shelves. But No Judgements just didn't feel like Meg Cabot to me. Although the book is set during a catastrophic hurricane, the stakes felt so unbelievably low to me. I know part of this stems from the fact that Cabot herself lives in Florida and she is portraying the event from the perspective of locals who have seen it all before, but there was so little tense build-up. And while the I think the animal rescue plotline is sweet and surely realistic, it also felt just... meh as far as page-turning quality goes. The main characters, too, didn't have nearly as much personality as some of Cabot's teen heroines (I much rather would have read about an adult Mia Thermopolis or aduklt Samantha Madison going through this hurricane, thank you very much) and the love story wasn't as butterfly-inducing as I like from my romances. This was simply not my personal favorite from Cabot, but if you love animals, or quiet romances, or extreme weather, this might be just your cup of tea.
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This is a refreshing and cute story not only about rescuing pets left after a hurricane but also the rescue of a young woman from her personal experiences. Her experiences led Bree to escape to a small Florida Keys island to rethink her life. She learns that rescue comes in many forms.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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No Judgments is about a girl named Bree who moves to an island near Florida from New York City to recuperate after a bad breakup and some surprising reveals about her family. Her mother is a celebrity judge and Bree enjoys her anonymity at her new home. However, there is a category 5 hurricane heading her way and she refuses all offers to evacuate, deciding to stick it out on the island. She ultimately, with the help of Drew, ends up checking up on the pets of people who had to evacuate, saying she’ll pass no judgments on them for leaving them behind. 
Meg Cabot always writes cute and fun books that are easy to read in one sitting, and this was no exception. While none of the characters were super memorable, they were fine and there was nothing offensive about the love interest. It was cute how they bonded over their love for animals. 

One issue that I had with the book is that it tries to tackle sexual assault (and the way people dismiss it to try to make situations more comfortable rather than having to deal with cutting off the assaulter) in this really offhand way that did make it seem a minor part of the story, and especially with the way it was handled. There was legit a scene at the end that felt so out of place that I was surprised it came from the same book. And the book tackles natural disasters (how does a category 5 hurricane offer so little damage that people have hurricane parties? Tell that to Puerto Rico. Or Cuba, since there were offhand comments about Cuba protecting the damage to Florida), gun violence, adoption, and other serious topics with this same offhand way. It really put me off. 

Ultimately, this would be a good beach read and the characters are likable enough, but I would recommend other Meg Cabot books more.
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Description:
The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life. When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake. But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker. But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too. 

MY REVIEW:
No Judgments is my first book from Meg Cabot. The book is entertaining and made me laugh which is always good. The characters were very well written. From someone who has experienced several hurricanes I was intrigued to see how the author build up to the approaching hurricane. One thing I found disconcerting was the confrontation between Kyle and Bree. Wish that had been explained differently.

Overall I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to a sequel.

This book was provided free in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I’ve always been a big fan of Meg Cabot, and I enjoyed reading Bree’s story. I was surprised at some of the pacing of the book; a large portion of the story was the build up to the approaching hurricane, but the way it built up so much suspense was very typical to riding out a hurricane and sheltering in place. The romance between Bree and Drew was expected, but cringey at first with the way Bree spoke to him. There were also so many other elements addressed in what felt like somewhat of a rushed way - between Bree’s past with Caleb, her father’s death, confronting her attacker, and meeting her biological mom, as well as navigating a new relationship and reevaluating her job and life on the island, it felt like so much was packed into the second half of the book. Like other reviewers, I also found the confrontation between Bree and Kyle to seem very out of character. I did see that there are sequels to come, and all in all, I’m excited to see the direction that this series takes. Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC!
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I don't know how a comedic veteran like Cabot managed to make a hurricane boring, but she did.  No Judgments follows lackluster heroine Sabrina "Bree" Beckham, the daughter of a celebrity judge who is in the midst of hissy and ran away from her NYC life, as she literally wades through a hurricane that hits the remote Florida Key where she has made her escape.  Bree's life is ashambles, though readers will find that she doesn't seem very inclined to actually do something about that.  She is, however, inclined to pet rescue, and there is plenty of opportunity for that in the aftermath of the hurricane.  This brings her in close quarters with reputed bad-boy Drew Hartwell, the nephew of her bosses, who is a dog lover.  Drew has about as much personality as Bree and their romance reflects this.

No Judgments appears to be the first in the series.  Since the rest of the islanders seemed much more appealing and funny than Bree and Drew, I have hope for the next book in the Little Bridge Island series.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an e-ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Loved this!  Meg Cabot has created a world that feels so real and I want to move there now!

Bree moved to Little Bridge after several incidents in her life cause her to need a breather from everything. Working as a waitress and trying to figure everything out starts to move on with her life and then a huge hurricane forms and makes its way to her new home. Bree works with a local guy named Drew to rescue the animals left behind during the evacuation and because of the forced closeness of this she begins to wonder if she's ready to move on with her life and deal with the feelings she is developing for Drew. 

The characters were so engaging, the setting was incredible, and of course Cabot's writing had me instantly captivated and hoping for a series to get to know more about the people of Little Bridge Island.
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Bree Beckham moved to Little Bridge Island, Florida roughly six months ago, as an attempt to leave her old life behind and try to start over. Now there's a hurricane about to hit the island, and it's being called "the storm of the century." Bree can't really evacuate, due to the health concerns of a new pet and the gas shortage after the wave of evacuees; nor does she really want to once she is presented with the option. Her mother doesn't understand, nor does her ex-boyfriend. Bree isn't alone, however, her boss and his family are hunkering down to weather the storm and have offered Bree a room. Once the storm passes, Bree finds herself with a new concern: someone has to take care of the pets that have been stranded on the island. But she's not alone for this either, her boss's nephew, Drew, is more than happy to help her care for the stranded animals. 

I really wanted to love this book, but I can't honestly say that I did; at best I liked it. There were a lot of aspects that were good, which I will talk about, however... some of the build up of the romance struck me as... odd? Not quite right?  Sometimes Bree would think something and my reaction was always, who talks like that?

Here are some of the examples that didn't click with me:

"Why did I feel so turned on by the tone of cool authority in his voice?"
"I tried not to notice how enticingly male Drew looked as he swung from the truck,"
"I even sort of liked having him there, his long hairy legs wrapping around me with so much masculine energy."
"The men in orange jumpsuits who were cleaning up the piles of seaweed were prisoners he was supervising. Prisoners from the Little Bridge jail!"
That last one in particular felt completely unnecessary. I mean, it was used as a plot device to make certain characters meet back up again, but it was obvious, clunky and awkward. And honestly, the story gained nothing from the interaction overall. 

But it was also more than just the romance that felt off... reader's don't find out the reason Bree left her old life, and refuses to evacuate when given the chance, until 2/3 - 3/4 through book. However, it was extremely easy to figure it out. Bree was sexually assaulted and her mother and ex-boyfriend, especially, don't support/believe her. Moreover, there was a climactic scene towards the end that really felt out out character and came almost out of nowhere. While I can understand the idea that Bree wants to have a moment with her attacker, to feel some sort closure... I'm not sure how accurate that is... or common. As a woman who has faced numerous instances of harassment, I know I have never wanted to confront the person responsible. And while I realize that I'm just one person, and one truth, I think it more about how Bree decided to confront her attacker makes this stand out more. She confronts her attacker with a gun, and shoots a bottle near him to make a point/threat. I think that this does not belong in the story at all. Nothing in Bree's characterization made her seem like the type to be that physically confrontational. I also think, that given some of the themes of the book overall, glorifying gun violence was not the best way to have Bree gain closure?

That said, I think this book had some really great character building and the relationships between the characters were awesome! I really liked the depiction between Bree and her mom, Justine, how there was still clear love there despite the tension between them. Moreover, it is revealed that Justine is not Bree's biological mother, and I super appreciate that this fact does not ultimately change their relationship. Although the way Bree finds out does hurt their relationship, Bree continually still refers to her as mom.

Some of the other problems I had with this book was with the description provided, but I'm assuming that's largely on the publisher. The book is 2/3 lead up to the storm and therefore the lead up to the relationship between Bree and Drew. So while there is a lot of animal rescuing, it all happens in the last handful of chapters. I also think the description implies the climactic scene is going to be between Bree and her ex-boyfriend, Caleb, and while he makes an appearance, it is not a "who will she choose?" scenario at all.

I still recommend this book! It was a great read overall. I'd call it a beach reach if it were coming out before September.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good romance, healthy female relationships, healthy communication, and animals! With warnings about sexual harassment, and gun violence. I also just wish this book were a bit better.
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