4 Stars, Adult, Book Reviews, Contemporary, NetGalley, Romance

Review – While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

PicsArt_06-28-10.41.23.jpgTitle: While You Were Reading

Author: Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

Genre: Contemporary – Romance

Age Classification: New Adult

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia

Release: July 1, 2019

Available Format(s): PaperbackEbook

This is a book about how a book can change your life.

Beatrix Babbage is a bookworm who recently made the move to Melbourne to give her best friend space after accidentally ruining her wedding. Problem is, the great new life in Melbourne she had dreamed of is not her reality. Working a job she hates, Bea’s joys in life are her books and her coffee from barista poet, Dino.

Bea is a dreamer. She dreams of the perfect job, the perfect man, the perfect life, all while doing nothing to change it. She has the passion but lacks the confidence to do anything with it. Watching her fall and grow multiple times showed just how difficult making adult decisions can be, especially when you do not believe in yourself.
When Bea finds the annotated book in a secondhand bookstore, a fire is lit within her and she begins her search to find the Mystery Writer of all the beautiful and inspiring comments in the margins of that book’s pages.

Now for the people in her life.

From the first chapters, her (ex) best friend, Cassandra, is clearly not the great person Bea believes her to be. Bea may not have handled the situation well and leaving town was a bit like running away, but she is not at all responsible for ruining her best friend’s wedding. I did not like Cassandra based on the start of the book, but she is a vile human and what makes it so terrible is I know people just like her.

On a more positive note, there is Dino. He is kind of an oddball and not always great at talking, but he has a pretty good personality and is a great friend to Bea. It is Dino that encourages her to follow her passions and make the life she dreams about a reality. He is also described as having pretty great coffee so, yeah, I love him.

There is also Dino’s business partner, Sunday (yes, that is her name), who is all about saving the planet; a woman named Ruth, who is obsessed with the royal family and has a pet ferret; and Martha, a woman who spoke about Pride and Prejudice with Bea while they were in toilet cubicles. These women do a lot help Bea achieve her goals and boost her self-confidence.

So what about the story?

Well, it was pretty good. There were a few elements that were slightly predictable, but they were elements that I wanted to see turn out the way they did. It was an enjoyable contemporary romance with a nice chunk of book love. I also enjoyed the little mystery element surrounding the author of the annotations. What I loved most about this book was how satisfying it was to read. It was light, fluffy, a nice balance of romance, friendship and life, and it was easy to finish in a couple of hours. 

Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Have you ever come across an annotated book?
Would you track down the mystery writer?

Until next time bibliophiles!

Amy x


A digital copy of this book was supplied to me by Simon & Schuster Austalia via NetGalley

Professional Reader

4 thoughts on “Review – While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus”

  1. I started reading the first couple of chapters of this and ended up putting it down. I’m part of the blog tour for next week so I don’t think I’ll review it but maybe do something else haha I seem to be not enjoying super Australian reads lately, it just makes me cringe. How did you find the protagonist’s voice?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am the opposite and have been loving Australian reads recently, but there have been times in the past where they have not appealed to me.
      The protagonist was a little down on herself, a bit too obsessed with that book and I sometimes felt that she needed a reality check, but I didn’t mind her voice.

      Liked by 1 person

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