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 Caf 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. Whew, this was Not great I am so sad TW animal abuse, sexual assault Raise the flag I won a giveaway 2 14 19 I will ALWAYS read Meg Cabot She is Queen Cannot wait for this I completely fell in love with Little Bridge, so much so that I spent a good chunk of this book imagining what it would be like to live there.The only issue I really had with this book was that the characters all kind of felt hollow With all the effort put into creating and developing the island, community and story surrounding it all, the characters seemed like an afterthought Gary was by far the best developed characterGary is the MC s cat.Much thanks to Meg Cabot for my signed copy and all the candies YUM I received from her at BookCon. Unfortunately, I will have to pass judgement onto Meg Cabot s newest work.No Judgements is the story of Bree and Drew, two twenty somethings that have elected to remain, among other residents, on a tiny island in the Florida Keys as a Category 5 hurricane bears down on them.Bree moved to the island after the emotional shocks of death of her father and a sexual assault from her then boyfriend s best friend She is incredibly unprepared to deal with any sort of inclement weather, and is lucky to have made a new group of friends in the months leading up to the storm otherwise, she surely would ve perished trying to prove how tough she is to herself.Drew is Bree s boss nephew, recently out of a relationship and the victim of many a rumour about how he s the town bicycle which was so disturbing, because almost all of our background players are related to him or are snowbirds The themes of this book read like a smoothie of news from the past few years category 5 hurricanes, sexual assault, gun violence, radio show conservative judges But all are handled so weirdly There s a scene in which Bree confronts her assaulter and I was sure I d somehow opened another ebook, it was so out of place and such a bad example of gun usage This book seems to point to the heroism of weathering a storm, rather than getting out while also minimizing the devastation of a category 5 I highly doubt anyone stuck in the paths of Katrina or Maria were hyped to be there throwing lavish dinner parties leading up to it The lack of support around Bree following her sexual assault does seem on brand for what we know happens to victims, but how does no one believe her Why does she have so many supportive friends in Florida and literally none in her home city of New York Bree s mom is a radio version of Nancy Grace Judge Jeanine and just such a bad mom but there isn t really any commentary surrounding what the outrage jockeys do to civil discourse, she could ve just as easily been a Nancy O Dell knockoff or a society lady, since having a wealthy, famous mom seemed to be the only part that mattered I didn t understand the whole plot line of Bree being treated differently better because of who her mom is, I don t think radio hosts generate the same level of sycophancy as TV hosts Maybe if it weren t modern times and radio was still where it was at Drew and Bree s interactions were cute and I liked the background characters, but overall this was not an auspicious beginning to The Little Bridge series I ll still read the next one, because I m trash for Cabot but I hope the series course corrects from this one.Thank you to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for providing me a copy for review This has is no way influenced my opinion. This was a fun, flirty, feel good story just what I was expecting from a Meg Cabot book Small town Romance, delightful setting, witty banter, and loads of adorable animals, yes please Bree has fled to Little Bridge Island a small island off the coast of Florida after a bad break up Little Bridge is just as quaint and quirky as you would want from a small town When a category five hurricane is approaching Bree decides to hunker down with the long time residence and ride it out She and her cat Gary find themselves at the home of her boss because her apartment is in a flood area She also finds herself catching feelings for the island heartbreaker Drew can Drew really be all that bad He is an animal lover after all What follows is a fun sweet will they Won t they Romance that had me humming the song Kiss the Girl Not going to lie Gary the cat was the star of this book for me No teeth but all Cattitude Bree and Drew were likable and I enjoyed the back and forth between them There was some serious subject matter in this book and I do believe it was handled very well, however I m not sure it was necessary to the book There was a scene in the story that I felt was a bit out of character , and I m not certain if I feel good about it or not But I m going to take a cue from the title of this book No Judgment and not judge Love tower Bree and Drew help take care of all the animals that were still on the island after their owners had evacuated This was a good start to what looks like will be a fun small town romance full of lovable characters and cute animals This book in emojis I hurried into the kitchen, trying not to freak out over the fact that Drew Hartwell Drew Hartwell was in my apartment, shirtless, being nice to my cat Buy This Book Book Depository Series Yes, but this is the first book There s a novella called Bridal Boot Camp, which is the introduction to Little Bridge Island Genre Contemporary Romance POV First person Cliffhanger No Content Warnings Dealing with Trauma with actual traumatic experience scenes , Use of Guns, Animal Abuse Read if you like light and funny reads.I have always been a fan of Meg Cabot I went crazy about her when I was younger Of course, there was The Princess Diaries I also loved the Queen of Babble series Because of these series that I loved about a decade ago, I had high expectations for this one But, before I go further with this review, I have to say this was a good read, but not a great one.Let s start with what s the story Sabrina, who has reinvented herself as Bree, moved to Little Bridge Island from New York In this novel, Little Bridge Island is preparing for a possible Category 5 Hurricane Though Bree is slightly new on the island, she had made a lot of friends and she has also decided that she would prefer to stay on the island despite the numerous reports enticing people to evacuate from the island.In the cafe that Bree works in, she usually interacts with Drew Hartwell, which she has a somewhat weird relationship with Drew is known in the area as a heartbreaker and Bree, who just came from a relationship that ended badly, wants to stay away.Drew and Bree are both animal lovers So, at the aftermath of the hurricane, these two have decided to rescue all the animals that got left behind by their owners who did not got the chance to bring them with the evacuation.Okay, the blurb looks interesting and that s what made me apply for an eARC of this one.So, before I tell you the negatives, here are the things that I liked 1 I love knowing about the animals and their personalities in this read.2 I love the sexual tension and the development of Bree and Drew s relationship.3 I loved the heart to heart talks of the main characters.4 Drew has redeeming characteristics especially with his love for animalsThings that I did not enjoy 1 I hate how Bree treated her mom throughout the book, even at the epilogue.2 I did not liked the scene with gun use, I think it was unwarranted for.3 The book was entirely written as a light and fluffy read, but the whole ambiance changed because of one particular scene That scene is very important to the main character, and it was towards the end, so it had major impact Unfortunately, it is the reason why I removed one star from this read.This book was enjoyable until about 60% and then it went downhill from there It felt like two reads merged into one This pains my heart to say, because I am really a Meg Cabot fan by heart, but this book is really not my cup of tea.I am still not quitting this series, and will read the other works I wish though, that the book s will be much better than this one THE CRITERIA Blurb Main Character Significant Other Support Characters Writing Style Character Development Romance Pacing Ending Unputdownability Book Cover FINAL VERDICT 3.36 5 Much thanks to Edelweiss, William Morrow, and Harper Collins for this complimentary copy This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own Also, all quotes are taken from the ARC and may be different in the final published copy Blog Bookstagram Facebook Twitter Title No JudgementsSeries StandaloneAuthor Meg CabotRelease date September 24, 2019Cliffhanger NoGenre contemporary romanceI can t believe this book ended up being such a disappointment I genuinely expected it to be a guaranteed hit based on the synopsis Here s a little bit of quick background information about me I m a Florida resident who has been here the majority of my life I ve lived through tons of hurricane scares, and recently went through the uncertainty of Hurricane Irma which luckily ended up being only a category one as it passed by my city The point being, this book seemed extremely relatable Unfortunately I couldn t find anything relatable about the main character Bree, and by the end I struggled to even finish it For me, this was just one huge mess Bree Beckham is a three month resident of Little Bridge Island, Florida where she has moved after several recent events in her life have left her feeling unmoored and than a little lost The island was her happy place as a child, a place where she spent many vacations with her parents so it makes sense she would return at a time when she needs comfort Though she s from a wealthy family, she s self supporting and is currently working as a waitress to make ends meet She seemed okay at first, but the first sign of trouble was chapter one The news is reporting that there s a potentially catastrophic hurricane heading their way and when her ex and mother start calling to urge her to take a flight out, she responds petulantly as if they are over reacting She bluntly refuses all offers of transportation and goes radio silent on everyone Even after the storm when her mother was afraid for her life, she callously disregarded her and procrastinated in calling to let her know that she was safe I understand that she s angry at both of them, and rightly so based on what s revealed later However, this screams of foolish pride when it comes to your own personal safety There are so many people that are financially unable to evacuate and forced to stay in unsafe conditions and she s acting like a defiant kid During every encounter with her friends and various town members, she realizes that they are ALL evacuating They all offer her an opportunity to catch a ride with them to a safer spot She turns every one of them down with the excuse that she can t leave her cat I m sorry, but she has the support and funds to find a pet friendly hotel room somewhere This is such a flimsy excuse Not only does she decline help time after time, but she knows nothing about preparing for a hurricane and would have been in deep trouble had the storm hit them at projected strength She turned off weather reports because she didn t want to see the warnings, she didn t realize that she could be without water, and she had zero plans or precautionary measures in place in case of an emergency She had been planning to stay at her apartment in a flood zone without even bothering to sandbag outside for protection I guess what it boils down to is that perhaps I m too knowledgable about the topic for all of this nonsensical behavior to not bother me Luckily for her, her bosses offer their mansion as a shelter with a generator and an endless supply of food She reluctantly agrees despite not wanting to impose on them Drew is her bosses nephew, and apparent resident womanizer He has a reputation around town, and Bree is not his biggest fan They quickly fall into bickering at every opportunity, mainly because he likes to tease her about being a Fresh Water a newbie in town who is ignorant about life on the island For her to claim that she s some expert in living there is beyond laughable, so her anger and protests make no sense I didn t feel as if these two had an ounce of chemistry or relationship development between them The majority of the book she s snapping at him for breathing and then you literally turn the page and she s imagining herself in love with him Possibly since the first time she saw him, she ponders Who knew After that point I really struggled to continue It seemed like everything out of Bree s head or mouth annoyed or frustrated me in the last half Things like Believing he was mansplaining to her about the Milky way when she admittedly knew nothing about it I call that a conversation where you learn things That s not an insult to her womanhood Thinking that you weren t supposed to fall in love with guys you slept with They re supposed to be just for fun Meaningless sex is the only sexokay then Thinking fireworks went off in her shorts while making out Acting like an ungrateful know it all when Drew gives her advice or help I could tell you needed rescuing, is all I glared at him I did not need rescuing I never need rescuing Then there s the ending The heroine has three different unresolved issues from her past, and each and every one of them are instantly solved when the four other people involved show to confront her view spoiler Even her biological mother whom her mother rounded up and brought with her Yes, in the aftermath of a hurricane, this is the moment she meets the woman who donated her DNA to her She also happened to be a veterinarian who offered her services with the animals Bree collected That is so unrealistically convenient hide spoiler Arc was given by William Morrow via HarperCollinsPublishers in exchange for an honest review This review is being published before the release date September 24, 2019 Content Trigger Warnings Toxic relationships, sexual assault, manipulation, alcoholism, animal abuse, death loss of a loved one, anxiety, trauma PTSD, substance drug abuse, talk of fertility issues A hurricane is the last thing on Bree Beckham s mind She s already escaped one storm, what s one to add to the list However, she is extremely worried about all the animals that end up abandoned due to the hurricane And when she finds out many pet owners are going to be cut off from the Little Bridge Island for a while, the lives of innocent animals fall onto Bree s shoulders But with so many animals scattered all throughout the island, she s going to need help help she reluctantly accepts from the broody, yet devilishly handsome Drew Hartwell, the island s most notorious heartbreaker or at least according to the rumors And just when Bree thought thing couldn t get complicated, suddenly her true identity is revealed and her remorseful ex shows up out of the blue The real question is will she be able to weather the storm and find paradise in the end Only the secrets of this book can tell you Friends, this is just the kind of book I needed to pull me from falling into a really bad reading slump After reading a really good high fantasy book, it s so easy for me to fall into a reading slump, but the sassy, broody, tension rising contents of this book kept me high on cloud nine And I kind of love it It s been a hot minute since I ve been so excited about a romantic read, but this book was so good and it was incredibly hard not to fall in love No Judgments Now let me tell you all about it I hurried into the kitchen, trying not to freak out over the fact that Drew Hartwell Drew Hartwell was in my apartment, shirtless, being nice to my cat No Judgments follows our main character Bree Beckham who is full of sweetness, family complications, and one adorable rescue cat named Gary who thinks the world of her Oh yeah, there s just one thing about Bree Beckham she s riddled with secrets and everyone is dying to know them No seriously, there s than one skeleton in her closet and only Drew Hartwell can peel back the layers that is Bree Beckham Drew Hartwell is Mermaid Cafe s notorious heartbreaker Some say he s crazy, others say he s a playboy, but the truth is a lot simpler than that And dogs, lots of dogs When Drew ends up catching the full on phone call Bree has with her mother, he can only assume she s a Fresh Water or tourist and will soon flee to the safety of the main land But when the hurricane hits in full force and Bree finds herself in too deep trying to take care of all the abandoned pets on the island, Drew immediately jumps in to help With both of them working as a team, they ll not only become a beacon of safety for all the animals, but they ll soon discover that they ll slowly becoming each other s sanctuary.Honestly, I loved the tension and boiling chemistry between Bree and Drew They re both these two stubborn forces coming together and boiling so much sexual tension between them Some of the time I didn t know if I should be laughing or clutching my pearls The banter is so good and as someone who loves reading banter between two characters, I was living for it It s definitely one of the many things that really get focused between these two characters So if you re not a fan of banter being a big focus of two love interests, it might be a bit bothersome I do want to add about a moment Drew and Bree shared together though I loved how the author normalized confining in someone so intimately about the trauma a person can suffer I don t find many books that will have a causal scene where the main character talks about the trauma that they re dealing with Often times in books, I find a lot of moments when characters talk about they re trauma it s very intense, but I loved the way Bree and Drew were slowly and peacefully talking about the things they ve been through, and the weight they carry on their shoulders every day But other than that, can I just say this is the animal obsessed romance I have been waiting for We rarely get to see a romance between two animal lovers in romance, in smut, in fantasy, books in general rarely give us two animal lovers who turn into love interests And this has added twenty years onto my life for just that factor The way Drew and Bree not only feel so passionately about their own pets, but about others could warm even the coldest heart And watching them to come together and put that love into action, not just for their own pets, but to help others it s so wholesome, heartwarming, and it s one of the key points that bring these two so close together I will forever screech into the void about how precious they are, the how and why to their relationship developing, and how freaking adorable their pets act towards the other person It was too cute and you should be prepared for cuteness overload I could feel the heat coming off his body through his damp clothes, heard his breath quicken as our hands touched, and when I looked up, I could see that his gaze was on mine Aside from how much I adored the relationship of Drew and Bree, I was very drawn to Bree s character I think for a lot of readers, Bree s character is going to be a little hard to understand or handle because there are times where she s overly snappy or abrasive towards Drew Unfortunately, I think the only way someone reading about her character could truly understand why she acts the way she does towards Drew, it isn t just for her developing feelings for him Sadly, that reason is a lot deeper and in my opinion, if you haven t gone through the kind of trauma that Bree experiences then it might be one of those things that might get overlooked or pushed to the side And for myself, I was instantly drawn to her character because she reminds me so much of myself Obviously, the very big secret gets revealed at a certain point in this book, but I definitely think if the reader puts how her trauma plays a key part in everything in this book to the side, a lot of readers are going to be frustrated with her character, might not like her, or think that she s being immature I think I m the odd one out because I found Drew s character frustrating at times or found myself face palming because of something Drew did His character was really hard for me to get into I think the first time his character impressed me, a little, was with the whole Socks situation That was the first scene where I felt like I had to give credit where it was due However, throughout the book it was very hot and cold with my feelings for Drew s character and his development.Now the reason why this wasn t a five star read for me was due to a bunch of little things For example, it felt like Bree was constantly fighting her mom throughout the book which she was and at times it became a bit too much with everything else going on in the book And then, there was the Me Too moment that almost knocked me out of my chair I had to reread it to make sure I wasn t misinterpreting things, but there was definitely a Me Too moment added into this book and that caused a lot of internally turmoil for me I don t want to go into details, but that whole bit dragged me through a loop because I am one of those people who have a lot of mixed feelings about that whole movement There s also a lot of animal abuse throughout this book I won t go into details, but a lot of it made me cringe There was also a brief moment where the author used dog breed stereotypes to make the dogs seem aggressive because of their breed And I also don t like that in this particular moment the dogs were used as a means to instill fear especially since anyone who is reading this might get a very wrong message and think it s okay to use dogs in that manner.However, my biggest issue that really bothered me out of this whole book was near the end of this book and even now I m still shaking my head at how it was all handled To prevent myself from going into spoilers, I m going to keep this as vague as possible This bit bothered me to know end and I wish I could say I was proud of the main character and how the situation was handled, but I m not The whole entire situation changed the entire mood Even the after events of this one whole scene weren t able to make me forget what happened in this section because it felt so out of place Most of this book is very light, fluffy, a fun time, but you get to this part and it s like a huge mood switch I feel like this scene could have been written in so many ways and what the author chose it was very out of place, the situation takes a dark concerning turn, and the whole entire thing felt so unnatural and realistic In my opinion, physical violence, especially pulling a gun out on someone no matter if they ve done good or bad things in their life , should be used as a last resort Unless the person has physically put their hands on you in that moment, you have no business going into a mode of survival if your life is not in immediate danger As someone who has gone through extreme trauma in their life and has sat face to face with some of those people who have inflicted that trauma, I have never once found it necessary to put my hands on someone or go to such extreme measures because at the end of the day, no matter how much I wish I could hurt them back or make them suffer, violence is never the answer or a solution So when that whole scene happened in this book, it felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks because of all the things that could have been put into this book, it felt like the author went with one of the most extreme actions a person could take in that situation when there was no threat danger to the main character s life Not to mention, in reality, most victims of sexual assault who suffer trauma or PTSD from that particular moment in life usually end up having flashbacks, a build up of anxiety and panic, or they end up flee the scene when they come face to face with with their previous attacker Also, the main character had every opportunity to turn around and walk away from the situation because she shouldn t have to face her previous attacker if she s not ready or evern want to, but instead she chooses to instigate it So the fact that our main character has a completely sound mind when she follows through with her actions, it s unrealistic and it s the most troublesome thing I read out of this whole book Also, most sexual assault victims only go to such extreme measures if their previous attacker has physically put their hand on them in the current situation I don t know if this is how the author thinks someone who has suffered from the trauma of a sexual assault, but let me be the person who has gone through this situation to say this is not realistic or accurate in any form The fact the author wrote our main character pulling a gun out on an unarmed person who has done nothing in that current moment, it blows my mind away because there is nothing that indicates she has a reason to be doing that or acting that way I truly wish this scene had been written any other way, but for whatever the reason the author felt this scene was necessary and it kind of ruins the mood for the rest of the ending of the book It paints the main character in a really bad way and it left a really sour taste in my mouth that I wish I could mind wipe from my memory Whatever the reason, instead of replying, I found myself flinging my arms around his neck, pressing my body against his, and kissing him full on the mouth Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book It really gives me some nostalgic feels of missing my hometown I am from a small town and this book definitely reminded me of what it means to have a community come together after a tragedy But even so, there were many other elements that I loved like the passion and love for animals woven throughout this book For me, my reading experience was mostly positive because it felt like little pieces of me were woven throughout this book and I loved that However, that one scene was definitely hard to process and if you have similar values like I do, I think it will be very challenging to get through that one scene I think many readers are going to enjoy this book, but I can definitely see how many readers may not enjoy this book due to a lot of elements threaded in this book Either way, I do think this book is worth the read There s a lot of warm moments and so many animals And who doesn t love animals The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Blog Instagram Twitter YouTube A cute story, but if you ve ever been familiar with any of Meg Cabot s work including Princess Diaries , it seems like an AU fanfic Characters recycled into an alternate universe I did enjoy the setting of an island preparing for and then dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane, but I would have preferred a little depth Everything, including the romance, seemed to be completely lacking nuance, and one dimensional Which is odd, considering the things Bree was dealing with on a personal level.Also some things with wording that I didn t care for, like calling a side character who displayed what could have been a social awkwardness or cognitive delay slow Overall not a story I feel really strongly about.
- 384 pages
- No Judgments (Little Bridge Island, #1)
- Meg Cabot
- 22 September 2017 Meg Cabot