Short Take Reviews | Hang the Moon and The Last Goodbye

  

Alexandria Bellefleur
Published: May 25, 2021
3.5 stars

Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or... has he? When his sister's best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time.

Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie... wants him? Oh yes.

Getting involved would be a terrible idea—her stay is temporary and he wants forever—but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies... as long as you think your partner hung the moon.


*****

There was plenty to enjoy in Hang the Moon. A hopeless romantic + a woman who has given up on love and dating… I mean, that’s rom-com gold. Sexy/nerdy Brendon was determined to prove to Annie that romance wasn’t dead. And while he was busy pulling out all the stops to prove his theory, he and Annie were forming a connection. For Brendon it was a childhood crush realized; and Annie was seeing Brendon with new eyes. Annie’s dissatisfaction with her career, ambivalence over her upcoming move out of the country, and her growing feeling for Brendon made for some realistic low-drama conflict.

Brendon was an absolute cinnamon roll and he was the real highlight for me. The found family aspect was done so well and I really enjoyed the friend group. While I was never particularly invested in the romance, I enjoyed the ode to romantic comedy movies and there were plenty of laugh out loud moments (hello ferris wheel mishap). Definitely a worthy read.



THE LAST GOODBYE

Fiona Lucas
Published: June 8, 2021
3.5 stars

How can you move on if you can’t let go?

Spencer was the love of Anna’s life: her husband, her best friend, her rock. She thought their love would last forever.

But three years ago, Spencer was tragically killed in an accident and Anna’s world was shattered. How can she ever move on, when she’s lost her soulmate?

On New Year’s Eve Anna calls Spencer’s phone number, just to hear his old voicemail greeting. But to her shock, someone answers…

Brody has inherited Spencer’s old number and is the first person who truly understands what Anna’s going through. As her and Brody’s phone calls become lengthier and more frequent, they begin opening up to each other—and slowly rediscover how to smile, how to laugh, even how to hope.

But Brody hasn’t been entirely honest with Anna. Will his secret threaten everything, just as it seems she might find the courage to love again?

*****

Anna has been stuck in a cycle of nearly overwhelming grief since the sudden death of her husband, Spencer. After almost three years, she feels unable to move past it and figure out what comes next. When she calls Spencer’s old cell number, just to hear his voice in the voicemail message, she’s shocked when a man answers. Brody now has Spencer’s old number and is dealing with his own trauma and grief that he cannot let go and cannot get past. And so begins a friendship of sorts, with Anna and Brody calling one another, offering solace and understanding in a way that others can’t.

Anna’s grief felt heart-wrenchingly authentic and maybe that’s why I found the first half of the story to be a bit of a downer. My heart hurt for Anna but it was also difficult to be in her head and experience her loss for so long. Perhaps that’s also why the pacing of the first half felt a bit slow to me. (Lighthearted reads seem to fly by in a flash – heavier tones definitely feel slower.) The second half picked up and I was completely invested in Brody’s journey and in the oh-so-satisfying resolution for he and Anna.



HAVE YOU READ EITHER OF THESE BOOKS?


16 comments

  1. Brendon sounds adorable - I love when it's the guy that's the hopeless romantic!

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    1. Same here, Angela! I'm a sucker for a soft, romantic guy. :)

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  2. Both of these sound like solid books, even if they weren't higher rated. I've been wanting to read Hang the Moon.

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    1. Hang the Moon was fun, and had a lot of laughs, I just didn't feel particularly invested in the couple. But it was a good time! :)

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  3. The cover of Hang the Moon is soooo adorable! I'm sorry the romance didn't work out but yay for laugh out loud moments!
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. It was definitely a fun listen, even if I wasn't really invested in the romance. :)

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  4. Great reviews!! I struggle when reading characters that are really down. I'm okay when there's a strong undercurrent of hope for the future added in, though.

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  5. I had a library copy of Hang the Moon but it expired before I could get to it. It does sound like rom-com gold! It is tough being in a character's head if they're super depressed, and a book that feels like it's super long isn't usually a win for me unless I'm loving it. Glad to hear these were mostly positive reading experiences, Tanya!

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    1. I hope you'll love Hang the Moon, Rachel! It really was a lot of fun.

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  6. Obviously I am disappointed you didn't like these as much as me, but at least you didn't hate them

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    1. Didn't hate them at all! 3.5 is a good rating for me. :)

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  7. I actually haven't heard of either of these books, Hang the Moon sounds like a fun cute read and the hero sounds like a solid one. Sorry to hear that neither of these didn't quite live up to your expectations

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    1. Hang the Moon was cute and the hero in that one... so sweet! :)

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  8. Hand the Moon sounds like one I'd like. I usually enjoy sweet light romances from time to time.

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    1. Hang the Moon was a lot of fun. Pretty low-angst,low-drama which was nice.

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