Cover Image: Of Literature and Lattes

Of Literature and Lattes

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Member Reviews

Of Literature and Lattes took place in a dream town: local bookstore, coffee shop and other locally owned stores where community was at the heart of it all. 

Katherine Reay wrote charming characters who have real strengths and flaws. I feel like I could walk down the block and see all of these people in my town. 

Overall an enjoyable lighthearted read that was character centered. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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The book was a bit of a jumble for me because of the vast amount of characters and independent plots happening within those characters. Alyssa having to move to an idyllic place where she meets many different people was what drew me to this book in the first place but it just couldn’t keep me attached to it throughout the book.
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This book was just okay for me. There were too many characters with too many story lines so it was slow to get into. The description made it look like a romance and Jeremy and Alyssa did not even connect until forty percent in the book. I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters. This was a story about the whole town. It just wasn't for me.
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Of Literature and Lattes gives us Alyssa and Jeremy to weave us into the interior lives of residents of Winsome, Illinois. As Ms. Reay quotes John Steinbeck on writing, the “base theme [is to] Try to understand men.” Through Reays writing we get a loving and lovely chance to understand a whole community of people in conflicts and in love. These are real characters, people we know and love. They are us.Ms. Reay brings us along in understanding relationships and watching the beauty of friendship and family even when those bonds are strained. We take a moment to sit back wit our own lattes to reflect on our own stories.
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I thought that this book was going to be everything that I like. Small town, romance, book, and coffee. What I got was characters I couldn't relate to, fights between ex's, teenage angst, and cheap christianity. I was not aware that this book is christian fiction and I would have avoided it like the plague but alas, here we are.

Alyssa has moved back to her hometown after her company is raided by the FBI. She has to live with her estranged mom. They get into these weird angsty fights because Alyssa's mom cheated a few years ago and her parents ended up getting a divorce. I understand being upset that your parent cheated but why all the angst? Parents are adults and you don't know what happened during the marriage. I wasn't prepared for the constant fights and was over them fast. Jeremy moved to the small town to be closer to his daughter but just ends up fighting with his ex. More fights!!! I did like the scenes with Becca but that is not what I expected from a romance book. Someone needs to tell Jeremy and Alyssa that being tall and liking coffee does not make a personality.

The book has these weird transitions that follow anyone and anything so we can keep up with the small town. One transition follows the town stray cat which was weird but I wasn't mad at it. I was mad that I had to keep up with all the residents of the town.

Shout out to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in advance in exchange for an honest review.
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I am sad that this book did not work for me. I usually love small-town romances especially when coffee shops and book stores are involved. I really can't resist them. I struggled with this book mainly because I could not warm up to Alyssa at all, and most of the rest of the characters were boring to me. I only cared about Jeremy and his adorable daughter Becca. Another thing I did not like was the number of characters, there were simply too many to keep track of. Even though this book did not work for me I will seek out this author's older books in the future especially the Printed Letter Bookshop which does take place in the same small town as Of Literature and Lattes.
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It took a couple of days reading a lot to get into this book. The plot needed some time to get going. The positive side to that is, that the characters and their backstories were fleshed out really well, and they were quite realistic. 

I must admit that I did not really like Alyssa that much, again especially at the start of the book. I warmed to her when I read on, but I had much difficulty getting over how she seemed very shallow and easy to break contact with and run from her mother. I get it, some things can seem life shattering, but breaking contact over that, with your own mom? Really? I could very much relate to the whole 'oh shit, I effed up this bit of my career, how am I ever going to find a job and build a life again?' (For me it was dropping out of university, but it had kind of the same effect: it is almost impossible to get hired)

On the other hand, I rooted for Jeremy so much! No, correct that, I rooted for his daughter most of all, and I hoped very much that she would get all the love and help she deserved.
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Of Literature and Lattes is a sweet story of one small town in America and it’s unique characters.  I felt like I was in a book version of Gilmore Girls, and I was very happy with that.  It covered general themes of love, loss, and the need for human connection.  I really resonated with the main character, Alyssa, as someone who takes on and expects too much of herself, and then lashes out at others when things don’t go perfectly.  It was hard seeing her go through her struggles, but I was rooting for her throughout (and I really wanted that job she got!).  But she was just one story of many touched on in the book.

The story does jump around a bit from character to character, allowing the reader to be able to experience the town and its happenings from different viewpoints.  Some readers may not like that, but it felt very natural to me and helped me understand and see their development over time.  It is also labeled as a romance genre, but I’d call this a “chaste” romance novel. There are only hints of romance here, so you don’t have to worry about recommending this book (and series!) to your mom. 

Of Literature and Lattes is an easy read that will make you feel good. I’d definitely read with a latte in hand, though.  Coffee is discussed throughout and it just isn’t the same reading it without a cup nearby.  

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for a chance to read this complimentary advanced reader’s copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I’d give this 3.5 stars. This was a sweet, small town story. I thought the story itself was a little muddled, though. There was a lot going on and it bounced around a lot. The characters’ motivations were sometimes difficult to follow and there were too many things going on without enough development of all of them. Despite the story being a muddled, I did stay interested and invested in some of the characters. It was a quick read. 

Thanks to netgalley for the advanced readers copy.
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Once again Katherine Reay has written a book that I did not want to end.  While Of Literature and Lattes involves the same characters as The Printed Letter Bookshop, but one does not have to read the first to understand this new title.  I found myself rooting for the characters and grieving their losses and wondering how they were doing the next day.  I am one who loves happy endings and while this was happy I would love to see what happens to the characters in their next stage of life.  I highly recommend this new book by Ms. Reay and look forward to more by her.
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Katherine Reay does it again! 
This is a beautiful continuation of "The Printed Letter Bookshop." This book can be read as a stand alone, but in my opinion, it would be beneficial to read the first book to understand the complexity of the characters and their relationships.

Janet and Alyssa struggle to find common ground after three years of an estranged relationship as mother and daughter. Jeremy strives for success as he reopens the coffee shop he purchased and renovated. He finds that success is not always in numbers, but extending hospitality and connecting with the community. Seth speaks gentle truth to his ex-wife as they consider remarrying.

The characters in this story have flaws. They each wrestle with insecurities, forgiving others, and forgiving themselves. Set in a charming town, each person can find something to connect with in this book! Five stars and a must read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I requested and received a digital prerelease copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

I have read and loved Katherine Reay’s other novels. I own all 6 of them, and don’t regret any of my purchases. That being said, I don’t think I’ll purchase this one. All in all, not her best work(in my humble opinion, and I always feel guilty critiquing an author when I’ve written nothing), but so much better than Deeanne Gist. 🙈😂

For the book: 

I love Katherine Reay’s characters and their development. She puts a lot of thought into making them genuine, fairly believable, and in showing good character development. She makes their troubles and triumphs relatable, even if they are not always quite as believable. 

This is an easy, fluffy, enjoyable read. Perfect for the beach or a cabin in the mountains. Interesting and engaging, but simple and easily digested. 

Against the book:

There were too many characters to keep track of. I felt dizzy trying to remember who everyone was. I appreciated the nod to Printed Letter Bookshop, but some details required a little too much remembering, to the detriment of the story (specifically, the Chris/Father Luke side story). 

While Ms. Reay’s characters usually feel genuine, I felt her use of “I love that you...(said that/believe that/etc.) was cliche. I did not believe the characters when she threw those phrases in. I think it was meant to tie Jeremy and Alyssa together, and then Alyssa and her mom, but I didn’t buy it. 

She used the word “synthesize” too many times. The first time I enjoyed it and had to look it up to remember what it meant in that context. The second and third time it felt cheap. 

SPOILER ALERT *************************************************************

The end felt abrupt. I wanted the bake shop lady to get some resolution over her possibly fake pre-diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s that caused her so much emotional distress. What happened with Krista and Becca? It just ended so fast.
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Unfortunately I was unable to review this book due to formatting issues but would purchase it when released based on the synopsis
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As always, Katherine Reay displays the depth of her talent in this follow-up to The Printed Letter Bookshop. With deeply layered characters, family tension, and a gentle romance, Of Literature and Lattes takes readers back to Winsome to catch up with familiar faces and meet a few new ones, too. I especially appreciated the mother-daughter angle between Alyssa and Janet (the character who ended up surprising me most with how much I came to love her in Bookshop)! I really enjoyed this story of forgiveness and second chances!
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Beautifully written! The characters are interesting, with realistic flaws and struggles. I thought the heroine's dilemma was particularly unique and the fallout from her professional experiences made this a compelling story. It's hard to capture the complexity of human relationships and keep the pacing strong, but the author did so without making the conflicts seem trite or melodramatic. I really enjoyed how the author built the layers of history between the characters and kept me engaged all the way to the end. The community of Winsome is quite charming as well.
My only objection to the novel is the abrupt and frequent changes in point of view. It makes for a jarring experience. Perhaps in the published copy the changes will be plainly indicated. In my ARC, there was no indication that the POV was changing so I had to pay close attention.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. All opinions stated here are my own.
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I was so excited to come across this novel because I loved The Printed Letter Bookshop! I didn’t even realize it would be set in the same town with familiar characters, so that was a bonus. Alyssa was quite the whirlwind and reminded me so much of her mother, Janet, from the previous book. Let me note that you can read this as a stand alone! I enjoyed Jeremy and the whole cast of characters and I look forward to reading more!
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While I wasn't as attached to main characters Alyssa and Jeremy as much as I've been to those in Reay's other books, I found Of Literature and Lattes a heartfelt, satisfying read. The mother/daughter dynamic "stole the show" making the content both relatable (to me, personally) and relevant to readers of all ages who've experienced a similar push-pull with the woman that gave them birth. 

I also loved the brief glimpses of the relationship between Jeremy and his daughter, and would have loved to have seen that a little more. As-is, I felt the book ended a little too abruptly--not just because I wanted more (I did), but because I needed a bit more closure in a few areas, one of which being Jeremy and his daughter, and her struggle with dyslexia. I also would have liked to see a little more of Seth and Janet's story, since it wove so deeply into Alyssa's story, and I finished with many questions about the medical scandal and what came of the Winsome resident who'd been given "false news."

Overall, I'd recommend the book. The tension--> resolution between mother and daughter was the heart of the story, the romance a sweet secondary plot that gave the book levity, and the geek in me appreciated the varying literature references, which, in a way, tied everything together.
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Katherine Reay is an automatic read for me every time, so I didn't really pay attention to what the story was about until I got into it. lol. So, I was in for a delightful surprise when Alyssa gets back to her home town and her messy relationship with her mom and found that I recognized the town at that of the Printed Letter Bookshop. You could read this as a stand alone story, but I recommend that you read the books in order, since a lot would get lost if you don't read about Alyssa's mom, Janet, in the first book. Katherine does not disappoint in this story of forgiveness, expectations, illness, and seeing through new eyes. I love that it deals with the relationships between mothers and daughters. This is sure to be one of the best reads of 2020!
I received this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review.
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Although this began as what I thought would be a boring mother/daughter don't get along novel I was very wrong. There are so many aspects to the plot and development of characters that make this a good read. Satisfies in all areas
Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this arc
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Another masterpiece by Katherine Reay...I absolutely loved this novel from page one...and did not want this story to end.  Five Stars!!!
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