The Best Thing
Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.Done thinking about him.Done worrying about him.Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.

The Best Thing Details

TitleThe Best Thing
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 7th, 2019
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Sports and Games, Sports

The Best Thing Review

  • shre ♡
    January 1, 1970
    mariana zapata could write a 9000 page fanfiction based on peppa pig and i would read it. there is nothing this woman puts out that i would not put on a pedestal and worship. READ: 08/14/2019 *4.5/5* "Do what you have to do to be happy, okay? No one else is going to do it for you." she's done it again ladies and gays. ms. mariana zapata never fails to satisfy. she also somehow manages to successfully write every trope she decides to tackle with perfection? i have too many emotions right now so mariana zapata could write a 9000 page fanfiction based on peppa pig and i would read it. there is nothing this woman puts out that i would not put on a pedestal and worship. READ: 08/14/2019 *4.5/5* "Do what you have to do to be happy, okay? No one else is going to do it for you." she's done it again ladies and gays. ms. mariana zapata never fails to satisfy. she also somehow manages to successfully write every trope she decides to tackle with perfection? i have too many emotions right now so i will come back to this review when i can formulate the proper words to fully express everything that i am currently feeling. the one advice i can give is don't finish this book in a public setting because you will start crying by the end of this book...i guarantee you.
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  • Val ⚓️ Shameless, Skanky & Bitchy ⚓️
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 - 4 Stars ***Make sure you check out an important note I bolded further down*** Well. This book made me cry at the end. Which is a big deal. Because I RARELY cry. And I even more rarely admit to it. So there’s that.As all Zapata readers know, her books are slow. Super slow. And this one was VERY slow. Even more slow than usual, in my opinion. Certain things are very dragged out. Some dialogue and scenes felt superfluous...and endlessly meandering. Without purpose. In fact, I was actually con 3.5 - 4 Stars ***Make sure you check out an important note I bolded further down*** Well. This book made me cry at the end. Which is a big deal. Because I RARELY cry. And I even more rarely admit to it. So there’s that.As all Zapata readers know, her books are slow. Super slow. And this one was VERY slow. Even more slow than usual, in my opinion. Certain things are very dragged out. Some dialogue and scenes felt superfluous...and endlessly meandering. Without purpose. In fact, I was actually considering a 3-star rating until I got to the last 20% and things...picked up (or Zapata’s version of “picked up,” I should say) and, hey, I figure any book that makes my black soul leak deserves a one-up.But more than that, I just really appreciate that, even though things are so slow...SO slow...Zapata never takes the cheap way out. She never attempts manipulative drama and unnecessary angst just for the sake of it.You get to know the characters. You get to know their lives and routines. You FEEL their connections. And for those things I will always support and read anything this woman writes. Also. READ: Do yourself a favor and don’t read too many reviews before you tackle this book. There are things that aren’t unveiled fully until about 15% (which takes a while, this book is long) that I can see people just dropping in their reviews without thinking. And Zapata wrote things this way on purpose. So, like I said, do yourself a solid and go in blind so you experience the book the way she intended. You will notice I left out pretty much anything about the story. The blurb is vague. FOR A REASON. But anyway. I loved the characters in the book. Especially the relationship between Lenny and her grandfather. Just beautiful. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did. The writing slogs along at times and I know this will be way too slow for some. But, I think if you go in expecting more of a character piece and not a hard-charging page turner, you will be pleased. I was.
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  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    Spoiler free reviewThe Best Thing almost felt like it was written just for me. It was as close to perfect as it gets in regards to my taste.I'm not kidding. The tropes, one is a secret one and can't be revealed, the characters, the story - it ALL synced with me. I was in one happy place reading this book. It's always a great indication if I read with a smile  on my face and if a book can make me laugh so hard I'm afraid I'll pee myself.So here are all the things I loved about this book:1) Lenny. Spoiler free reviewThe Best Thing almost felt like it was written just for me. It was as close to perfect as it gets in regards to my taste.I'm not kidding. The tropes, one is a secret one and can't be revealed, the characters, the story - it ALL synced with me. I was in one happy place reading this book. It's always a great indication if I read with a smile  on my face and if a book can make me laugh so hard I'm afraid I'll pee myself.So here are all the things I loved about this book:1) Lenny. It's seldom that I love a heroine. Not sure why, but heroes are much easier to love. Not in this book. Lenny was my kind of girl. Sarcastic.  A smart mouth. Confident. She called Jonah all kinds of names. Pretty much in every paragraph she had a different moniker for him - and none were nice - lol. Her relationship with her grandpa made my heart swoon!! It was honestly the best thing I ever read in a book. It might have been the best thing that was ever written. Honestly, there were so many things I loved about Lenny, but I'll end it with this - she is my favorite female MZ character yet!2) Jonah. He was the epitome of a perfect hero. He didn't give up when it got rocky. His personality was wonderful without being too perfect. His demeanor was swoon worthy. When he spoke, showed his dimple, or just watched Lenny - I was DONE!! Honestly - he made me melt into a puddle of goo. He sometimes was Jonah with a small j, and sometimes when he let his alpha come out he was Jonah with a capital J. He was sweet, considered, shy - which I'm still laughing about, down to earth and just one of those guys I wish existed in real life. My kind of hero!3) Grandpa Gus. Guys, I just wish I had a grandpa like him. I'm a little bit in love with him myself. He actually might have been my most favorite character of all, and I'm still not over him. He was so unexpected. I had no idea and wasn't prepared for this amazingly funny character who read romance novels, and called Jonah all kinds of Twilight names. I was cracking up and had a smile on my face every single time he called him Jasper, Edward, and Emmett . He definitely deserves an award for best supporting character EVER!!!4) The plot. It was slow burn at its finest, but also had so much romance. The entire book was full of wonderful and romantic scenes. Lenny and Jonah were a team for most of the last 3/4 of the book. There were kisses. Hand holding. Looks. This book had it all. It was filled with romance, obvious feelings on both sides, and everything I need a romance novel to be. Moreover I don't think this book could have been written any better.5) I have to mention this one scene because I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. As in Wait for It (lice scene), there is one scene in this book that is taking from real life, and it was written perfectly. I've been there. I've experienced it. And it was so hilarious I couldn't stop laughing. My face hurt afterwards. Best scene EVER!!!So yes, I'm a little bit in love with this novel. And I won't forget it anytime soon. It will go on my most favorite books of 2019 list.I needed a book like this, especially by MZ. BRAVO!!!
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  • Natasha is a Book Junkie
    January 1, 1970
    Don’t mind me, I’m just here sobbing my heart out and my eyes hurt and my whole body hurts and half of it is because this book is so damn BEAUTIFUL and the other half of it is because there are no more pages for me to read. Mariana Zapata has outdone herself. THE BEST THING deserves a bazillion stars.
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  • ♡ ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴀ ᴍ ♡
    January 1, 1970
    ❥ 5 / 5 starsBefore reading this one, I have to say that I didn’t expect anything from its story since I picked it up just because its cover caught my eye and it made me want to read it.😂But after finishing it, I think The Best Thing is a great book one, though. It doesn’t only focus on romance but it also focus on family relationships. And that’s why I love this book. Even if the plot is mediocre but Mariana Zapata’s writing is so captivating that I decided to overlook and forget about it. I al ❥ 5 / 5 starsBefore reading this one, I have to say that I didn’t expect anything from its story since I picked it up just because its cover caught my eye and it made me want to read it.😂But after finishing it, I think The Best Thing is a great book one, though. It doesn’t only focus on romance but it also focus on family relationships. And that’s why I love this book. Even if the plot is mediocre but Mariana Zapata’s writing is so captivating that I decided to overlook and forget about it. I also love almost every single characters in the book and Lenny, Jonah, Grandpa Gus, Peter, Luna and Mo are my favorites! ❤️ (What? Almost all characters are your favs? 🤣)P.S. I initially thought that I would give it 4 - 4.5 stars but after reading the epilogue, I changed my mind. This book deserves 5 solid stars from me. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻P.P.S. This is my first book from MZ, so I don’t know much about her books. If anyone has read her other books and think I should read them too, please recommend them to me.😘
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  • Geri Reads
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @76%Mariana Zapata's books have been on my to-be-read pile since her breakout book Kulti and Wall of Winnipeg & Me. And despite my friend's urging, I've been reticent in trying her books. For one, I find 500+ books intimidating. Two, I'm a moody reader and you guys know how that is.But the blurb for The Best Thing hooked me right in and I knew that if I ever start a Zapata book, this would be a good choice. Plus, I was in the mood for slow burns.Unfortunately, this one didn't quite go as DNF @76%Mariana Zapata's books have been on my to-be-read pile since her breakout book Kulti and Wall of Winnipeg & Me. And despite my friend's urging, I've been reticent in trying her books. For one, I find 500+ books intimidating. Two, I'm a moody reader and you guys know how that is.But the blurb for The Best Thing hooked me right in and I knew that if I ever start a Zapata book, this would be a good choice. Plus, I was in the mood for slow burns.Unfortunately, this one didn't quite go as expected. I was 3 chapters in when I knew that this book, and Mariana Zapata's writing won't get along. Still, I pushed through but by 36% I was already skimming and had to restrain myself from chucking my Kindle across the room.Sounds dramatic. I know. But yeah, this book didn't do anything but annoy the hell out of me. And I wanted to love it. I really do but the harder I tried, the madder I got at everything: the writing, the characters, the plot that's going nowhere--everything!Writing this review now, I tried to remember if there's something I liked about it and the only one I could think of was I liked Lenny's grandpa and her Uncle Peter. That's it. Everything else just bored me to tears.Lenny- bless her heart- had some nice moments. I liked how she stood up for herself and drew boundaries when it came to Jonah. I liked that. I would've liked her character more if I hadn't been so annoyed at the repetitiveness of the writing. Being in Lenny's head was torture. Mainly because her inner monologue was wearisome. That and she's allergic to just using nouns and pronouns. Instead of using he, him, his, or really, just Jonah, she thinks like this:“The biggest man greeted him…”“But the still an asshole swallowed hard.”“I glanced back at Not Really a Fucker…”“The biggest man at the gym now. The biggest man in my life.”“The man whose…”“The man who probably saw too much…”“The big man kept coming to my office…”“The big brown haired man…”“The big shit-head…”Like whaaat? It's so weird and distracting. I mean, can you imagine thinking about your significant other like he's a stranger? Call it a writing tick or whatever, I call it lack of editing. Also, for the love of God, just say brown skin instead of pussyfooting around. Saying "richer skin tone" when you actually mean brown is just ridiculous. I went through so many instances where Lenny was waxing poetic over Jonah's skin and his Maori teammates, and she just about used every condiment except to say he/they has/have brown skin. No need to attribute it to honey or coffee. Just say brown. It's not that hard.Speaking of Jonah. He was a one-dimensional bore. Really, apart from Grandpa and Peter, I found all the characters in this book boring and the writing unimaginative but tries too hard to be profound.But what really killed my enjoyment was the repetitiveness. Look, I've read books where details are repeated because a) they are important, and b) the books are part of a long series with hundreds of characters and storylines. This wasn't that. There were pages of Lenny's inner monologue that repeats every single thing she was thinking and feeling 3 pages before. And just when you thought it's done, you get treated again to her inner monologue thinking about the same thing. It's an endless nightmare of repetition.Every single feeling and observation gets repeated over and over again until I was internally screaming I GET IT, HE HAS HONEY COLORED BROWN EYES JESUS CHRIST! Again, mentioning the colors of his eyes isn't necessarily bad but when you mention it even there's no need to is just irritating.Overall, MZ isn't for me. I love slow burn romances but this felt unnecessarily drawn out. There's no plot and no character development. Whatever redeeming qualities this book had, were smothered by the tedious writing.
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  • bella ϟ [ bella farren ]
    January 1, 1970
    Mariana Zapata is hands down, my favourite author of all time (also my only auto-buy author). I swear, she could write a book filled with my most hated tropes and I would end up rating it five stars, she's a magician. SO I WANT THIS NOW. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
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  • Jennifer Kyle
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars The story went flat for me at the halfway mark - - however the ending was beautiful. ⭐ 3.5 Stars The story went flat for me at the halfway mark - - however the ending was beautiful. ⭐️
  • ☽ TheBibliotheque
    January 1, 1970
    Jonah Collins said, gaze unflinching, "There's no choice, sweetheart."It was my turn to swallow, and it had nothing to do with that dumbass term of endearment he'd used.There's no choice either when it comes to loving a MZ. You just do.And I did, I really did. Even if it wasn't what I was expecting and even if maybe - just maybe - I loved it slightly less than the all the rest of her books. Except for you, Locke, I still don't like you.Oh sigh, I can't really say much more without saying too muc Jonah Collins said, gaze unflinching, "There's no choice, sweetheart."It was my turn to swallow, and it had nothing to do with that dumbass term of endearment he'd used.There's no choice either when it comes to loving a MZ. You just do.And I did, I really did. Even if it wasn't what I was expecting and even if maybe - just maybe - I loved it slightly less than the all the rest of her books. Except for you, Locke, I still don't like you.Oh sigh, I can't really say much more without saying too much. Just know that Zapata will surely surprise you with this one. For one, the hero is all but broody and distant. Jonah Collins was freaking warmth and shy smiles and equipped with a shovel to grovel. Because man, was there grovelling and did I enjoy every bit of it.As for the rest... Do yourself a favour and don't read too many reviews. ------Pre-release status:Mariana Zapata: says anything about new bookMe: an individual that has been compulsively checking on any news about a new book
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  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    This book. It made me laugh and cry, it kept me up at night. Mariana never disappoints. Her characters, no matter how small, are all so well thought out. I love the way she explores family dynamics. So good!
  • mel ♡
    January 1, 1970
    no one has ever made me excited about forehead touching or hand-holding like the one and only, Mariana Zapata.first half:ok gotta admit, when THAT thing happened 15% in i was a little iffy because i really don't like that trope at all and i was also iffy because with all MZ books, the MCs start off as strangers/acquaintances and that's actually my favorite part in her books because as a reader, i love it when i know the exact moment the hero falls in love with the heroine, but of course, the her no one has ever made me excited about forehead touching or hand-holding like the one and only, Mariana Zapata.first half:ok gotta admit, when THAT thing happened 15% in i was a little iffy because i really don't like that trope at all and i was also iffy because with all MZ books, the MCs start off as strangers/acquaintances and that's actually my favorite part in her books because as a reader, i love it when i know the exact moment the hero falls in love with the heroine, but of course, the heroine is adorably (sometimes frustratingly) clueless and i love seeing the realistic progression especially in Kulti and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, but from the beginning, we already KNOW that Jonah is very much in love with Lenny so i was kind of sad about that.im also kind of disappointed that we missed the best friends to lovers progression in this one (that's my favorite part in EVERY MZ books) because that already happened when they met waaay before in the past so the parts i wanted to be shown was only mentioned here.and tbh, the whole hating thing in the beginning was so repetitive and there was more inner monologue than dialogue and i don't really like that. okay but the cuteness came in like a fucking wrecking ball here for me in the last half though so this was me the entire time:and in the epilogue:overall, can we just have more sweet and shy heroes in the romance genre? pls and thanks.
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  • Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5-4 stars! Leaning towards 3.5. Though I liked Lenny and Jonah, I had a tough time connecting with them, especially Lenny. And I have to admit I didn't get into the book until halfway through, but that may have been because I've been in a slight book funk. But I DID love that Jonah is a big, 6 1/2 foot tall, soft, sweet boy with a heart of gold! And that epilogue? GOT ME SO CHOKED UP. WOW.The slow burn queen has blessed us https://amzn.to/2YC4BiZ
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  • Ⓐlleskelle - teamSøren♗ ⊲I like big b00ks⊳
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐2.5 STARS ⭐⭐ (Rounded down to 2 stars)**SPOILER-FREEOverall—let's start with this— I think it was a cute story.My experience with this book is conflicted as until 13% (before the main trope is even being hinted at) I had started hating on the book. The main reasons? The juvenile characterization of the 30 years old heroine—a somehow usual trait for Zapata's heroines— and the writing that seemed to be at its repetitiveness peak—even for Zapata.Heroine: " Fuckface, deepshit, fucker, asshole, dic ⭐️⭐️2.5 STARS ⭐️⭐️ (Rounded down to 2 stars)**SPOILER-FREEOverall—let's start with this— I think it was a cute story.My experience with this book is conflicted as until 13% (before the main trope is even being hinted at) I had started hating on the book. The main reasons? The juvenile characterization of the 30 years old heroine—a somehow usual trait for Zapata's heroines— and the writing that seemed to be at its repetitiveness peak—even for Zapata.Heroine: " Fuckface, deepshit, fucker, asshole, dickface, jackass. "Also heroine: "And he was real fucking lucky I was being this mature." IS THAT SO??? LOLI would have given up on "The Best Thing" if not for a friend telling me to go on until that "trope" I shall not talk about was revealed. The blurb is extremely vague for a reason, yes.And INDEED, (thank you friend) around the 15% mark, the trope reveal made my little black heart sigh. Knowing the reasons behind her anger—even though JUVENILE, allowed me to commiserate with the heroine enough or maybe she suddenly matured around that 15% mark, but I started to like her.I needed to know more about what led both main characters to this situation and I *needed* to hear about the hero's side of the story too. I was hoping for some good, stiff... angst. I was also expecting to be given pretty good reason for him to stay away... I was 100% into it and sure I was holding at least a 4 stars read in my hands.So I kept on reading, hoping to connect with the slow burn, the romance or some of that angst I was hoping for... except I've got none of this. What I got instead was a cute, adorable family portrait.Once again, Mariana Zapata did extremely good with her secondary characters, all were extremely likeable, and gave the story a relatable and affectionate dimension.That being said... the pace of it all nearly killed me guys. Not only this, but I don't need to read 7 times the complete description of the hero.What was that about the hero's shadow always appearing out of the blue, like in every scene he's introduced by the heroine telling us she "knows" that shadow, that shape, this frame, those strong shoulders, how the height she was staring at was so familiar... Oh, it's Jonah! TA-DA! Lenny, girl, get yourself some prescription glasses, you need them. Badly. Even I knew it was freaking Jonah before you did. LOL!Because I was curious I've read the acknowledgements part so I know the author has an editorial team... it might be the time to change for a more incisive one. "My eyes narrowed in on an impressively tall figure standing at the juice counter, chin tucked in, gaze focused downward. That height looked awfully familiar. So did those shoulders, and that haircut and color. What the hell was he doing here? The man on the other end groaned and moaned without actually using words, eating up the time it took me to make it to the bar, still holding my phone to my face, while I stopped directly to the side of the man I knew. A little too well. It was Jonah." "I was still trying not to smile when I lifted my head and spotted the figure standing at the far end of the room closest to the entrance. I knew that haircut, but it was the height and that damn body that really struck me. It was Jonah." "But I had barely opened my door when I spotted, in the side mirror, a very familiar body stepping off the curb and heading over. By the time I slammed the door shut and opened the rear door, Jonah was there," "The size of the shadow warned me it was Jonah, and my stupid-ass heart squeezed itself tight at his big smiling head" Slow burn or no burn at all? It seems more and more difficult for me to say which with each new Zapata's book I'm reading.A slow burn romance would make me want to desperately turn the pages to reach that ultimate climax the author built between two characters. A good slow burn should provide flutters, hope, elation, want, need... ALL the feels!Is this book deemed a slow burn romance because of the painfully slow pace the author set in addition to the endless repetitions?This wasn't a slow burn romance for me.As I stated in the beginning, the story was cute, the writing made it hard to get into it, sadly. So I ended pretty underwhelmed.The epilogue was really sweet and will make you cry if you have a tender heart. (I didn't cry and to be fair my friend did call me a "hard bitch" for it)*Edit: I had to remove the spoiler tag regarding the trope because somehow the Goodreads app doesn't hide the content within the tags. SIGH. More reviews and book talk at : You can find me here too ☞
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  • arini
    January 1, 1970
    who'd have thought that fictional grandpas are the best?? who'd have thought at all that the most memorable character in a romance book would be a mere funny old man instead of the couple of which the book supposedly should be about?? (!!!)i swear grandpa gus is the coolest, funniest, most caring and loving grandpa i've ever met. he might not be real, but all his wisdom, you can bet i will live by them for the rest of my life!!the castsi genuinely love every single character in this book. well, who'd have thought that fictional grandpas are the best?? who'd have thought at all that the most memorable character in a romance book would be a mere funny old man instead of the couple of which the book supposedly should be about?? (!!!)i swear grandpa gus is the coolest, funniest, most caring and loving grandpa i've ever met. he might not be real, but all his wisdom, you can bet i will live by them for the rest of my life!!the castsi genuinely love every single character in this book. well, except maybe noah. but he's inconsequential anyway. lenny's character is fascinating to me. i grew up around women/ sisters, so it's really refreshing to see lenny's relationship with grandpa gus and peter as well as how she manages the gym business. jonah, being the guy who always knows how to say the right thing to melt a girl's heart, is perfect. he's nice and polite and really sweet. sometimes i wish he'd show more of his 'jonah with the capital J' charm though.the plotnow, a lot of my problems come with the plot. it's pretty mediocre at best. i know zapata is really big on exploring familial relationship in her books, and i really appreciate what she did in this one. it's just that all of the plot twists feel anticlimactic to me. i also kind of disapprove the ending. there's nothing wrong with following the man of your dreams literally and figuratively anywhere, but a part of me also feels like lenny is too awesome of a woman to just be a housewife. i mean, as far as i remember there's no explanation of what lenny does after her job at the gym. the epilogue is really sweet and emotional and a little unexpected too considering how long the years it's fast forwarded into since the ending.the romanceall of the romantic elements that make me fall in love with zapata's books are there. those sweet and tender moments. all the little intimate touches (e.g. hand holding, cuddling). i love every scene jonah and lenny spend together and their banter. however, at the same time i also feel a little bit cheated knowing this is a second chance romance. jonah and lenny already had all that chemistry and felt deeply for each other. it's just a matter of rekendling all of that. although i can admit that the author did such a good job in making that happens, i feel a little unsettled about the plot twist that the author used to help "fix" their relationship.overall thoughtsreading this book has been like curling up in your bed with a warm blanket and a glass of hot chocolate during a rainy day. all the characters are lovely. the plot isn't that much impressive. i'm mostly indifferent towards it. the writing is as mariana zapata as ever. by that i mean, it's flowy but sometimes can also be frustrating. if anyone knows how to draw out giving any kind of information to readers, it's this author. sometimes it feels like a meaningless stalling. other times the suspense really does pan out.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Editor needed!Hey guys, did you know Jonah has honey coloured eyes? No, well Lenny only mentions them 37 times. Seriously this woman had an absolute obsession with eye colour and about halfway through the book I thought about turning it into a drinking game but then I decided my liver wouldn’t be able to deal with the sheer quantity I would need to drink. Sadly I think I’m done with Zapata’s books. I enjoyed the first few but with every new publication I realise that she only has 2 love stories Editor needed!Hey guys, did you know Jonah has honey coloured eyes? No, well Lenny only mentions them 37 times. Seriously this woman had an absolute obsession with eye colour and about halfway through the book I thought about turning it into a drinking game but then I decided my liver wouldn’t be able to deal with the sheer quantity I would need to drink. Sadly I think I’m done with Zapata’s books. I enjoyed the first few but with every new publication I realise that she only has 2 love stories to tell, and so she just changes the settings. Jonah is basically Aiden from the Wall of Winnipeg. Like Aiden, he’s a bit of a blank slate and really has v little character. The majority of time spent on him is to describe how big he is. Other than that, he’s not a big talker but shows up and does sweet stuff. Lenny meanwhile is the same as all Zapata’s heroine. She’s feisty, has an unusual job and no friends. She also loves to think about her situation a lot but does nothing to change it.Maybe it’s because I prefer dual perspective stories, but I found this a hard slog. I certainly got annoyed fast at being in Lenny’s head so much. There are so many internal monologues that I started skipping pages where there was no speech. Now, I wouldn’t mind these monologues but they were so repetitive and did not move the story along at all. The first 25% are about how she hates Jonah. Then we get chapters of how she wants to trust him but can’t. And she does absolutely nothing with these thought processes. She just has them and then keeps on living her life same as always. She so passive and it is all the men in her life that move the story on. Plus, like many of Zapata’s heroines, she’s v self involved and whiny. There’s a lot of tell about her strength and independence and no show at all. I really did not see what Jonah saw in her and why she was worth coming back for. I think I would have ghosted her too.I know that this will mean nothing to all of Zapata’s fans. They won’t care that a good editor would have cut the word count in half and pointed out that over using descriptions makes them hackneyed and clunky. They won’t care that you end the book knowing very little of Jonah’s character, other than he’s got big hands with short nails (why do we need to be told this. Now if he had long nails that would have been interesting) and honey coloured eyes (drink). They will think Lenny’s lack of female friends make her special and different. I just find it all v dull and not at all romantic. So I think I will bow out and leave these books to them. Happy reading!
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Ahhhh another book by my ALL TIME FAVORITE AUTHOR?! I cannot wait!!!As always with this author, I loved it! I loved sweet Jonah and everything about this! I cracked up laughing at the part about his Stuart little voice!! I always love all of MZ’s H’s, but it was nice to see a little change this time around. That being said, I do truly love her typical H’s. I’ll take whatever I can get from her lol. That epilogue had me crying though!ALSO I’m really glad I didn’t read reviews before I read this b Ahhhh another book by my ALL TIME FAVORITE AUTHOR?! I cannot wait!!!As always with this author, I loved it! I loved sweet Jonah and everything about this! I cracked up laughing at the part about his Stuart little voice!! I always love all of MZ’s H’s, but it was nice to see a little change this time around. That being said, I do truly love her typical H’s. I’ll take whatever I can get from her lol. That epilogue had me crying though!ALSO I’m really glad I didn’t read reviews before I read this book, and just stuck with the rather vague description. I truly feel it is a better reading experience this way. I’m usually NEVER one to say this. I am all for spoilers, but I honestly feel the vagueness made the experience better!Another thing I love about Zapata’s books is how long they are. I love long books, so her are always perfect for me!I’m sad that I finished this book, but now I get to go back and reread her others!
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  • Danielle Rotko
    January 1, 1970
    This is the one and only book of hers that I have ever given less than 4 stars to. I just couldn’t connect to Lenny and Jonah :( I felt like very little was ever happening between them, and not just in Mariana’s signature slow-burn way. I didn’t feel any of the spark I have come to expect from her stories. And while it pains me to have not absolutely loved one of Mariana’s books, she’s still my # 1. You can bet I’ll be one-clicking her next one and the one after that and the one after that. p.s. This is the one and only book of hers that I have ever given less than 4 stars to. I just couldn’t connect to Lenny and Jonah :( I felt like very little was ever happening between them, and not just in Mariana’s signature slow-burn way. I didn’t feel any of the spark I have come to expect from her stories. And while it pains me to have not absolutely loved one of Mariana’s books, she’s still my # 1. You can bet I’ll be one-clicking her next one and the one after that and the one after that. p.s. the epilogue is beautiful and made me sob like a little baby. Grandpa Gus stole my heart <3
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  • julia ♥
    January 1, 1970
    mariana zapata aka the queen of slowburn romance she will never be dethroned!!EDIT: this had my all time favorite underrated trope and i LOVED it. 4,5/5 stars. Do you think Mariana zapata knows how to write a bad book???
  • akiko
    January 1, 1970
    3 Grandpa Gus Stars!31 year old Elena (Lenny) DeMaio finally found a guy that she was smitten with, a little over 17 months ago, but then he left without an explanation, and he never responded to her texts, emails, etc.. Now she curses his name and 'hates' him...30 year old, rugby player, Jonah Collins has some regrets about his decisions from the not so distant past, but he's set on making things right, now that he's sorted himself out...I really wanted to love this story, but I was kind of bor 3 Grandpa Gus Stars!31 year old Elena (Lenny) DeMaio finally found a guy that she was smitten with, a little over 17 months ago, but then he left without an explanation, and he never responded to her texts, emails, etc.. Now she curses his name and 'hates' him...30 year old, rugby player, Jonah Collins has some regrets about his decisions from the not so distant past, but he's set on making things right, now that he's sorted himself out...I really wanted to love this story, but I was kind of bored through some of it, and it even had one of my favorite tropes! But one of the last chapters, and the epilogue, were certainly some of my favorite parts of this book... Grandpa Gus...As per usual, to Zapata's novels, this was heavy on family. There was also a softer, male lead in this story, compared to her other stories, and Lenny I definitely liked at times, and didn't at others (constantly name calling, for one reason; it kinda annoyed me, cause she did it alot in the first part of the book... for good reason???).Another sweet, slow-burn romance story by Mariana Zapata.
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  • Bookgasms Book Blog
    January 1, 1970
    There are so many things that can be said after reading a Mariana Zapata book but honestly I don't know where to start. But suffice to say each and every book is an amazing experience that makes me either outright full on ugly cry or die of belly laughs. In this case, with The Best Thing it was both. I absolutely DIED for Lenny and Jonah. Lenny alone stole my heart. Her snark and sarcasm and inner voice was so point I was either nodding my head, snorting in laughter or grinning like a loon. Ther There are so many things that can be said after reading a Mariana Zapata book but honestly I don't know where to start. But suffice to say each and every book is an amazing experience that makes me either outright full on ugly cry or die of belly laughs. In this case, with The Best Thing it was both. I absolutely DIED for Lenny and Jonah. Lenny alone stole my heart. Her snark and sarcasm and inner voice was so point I was either nodding my head, snorting in laughter or grinning like a loon. There was a magic about her, Jonah, their love for one another and Lenny's love for her family that was on another level. This story was glorious!Without giving away any spoilers, when Elena "Lenny" DeMaio decided she was done with Jonah Hema Collins, everyone got the memo, except the man himself. After an almost two year absence he was back and now Lenny needed to decide how she was going to finally deal with him. But she could never have suspected how Jonah would systematically destroy every wall and boundary she erected around her heart. AHHHHH!! I can not go into any more details as this story is best read when you go in blind. But just know that Jonah is mine and I will fight anyone for him. Lord did he give me all the swoons. I laughed, cried and melted. He was just PERFECT and everything you can expect from Zapata's heroes. He won my heart along with Lenny's and her grandpa's and he will stay with me for a long time. This story was marvelous and emotional and just everything you need in your life. I am still thinking about Jonah, Lenny, Gus and Peter and may or may not be miserably hungover after reading it. Bravo! 5 stars! ~Ratula ***Holy Hannah y'all, this book was pure, emotional, adorable perfection.I mean, I might be writing this through a haze of blubbery tears and gaspy little sobs. But, I mean, the good kind. The kind that let you know you just finished a book that left a mark on your heart. And boy, did it ever. I don't know that I'm ever going to let go of these fantastic characters or their rich, wonderful, sweetly satisfying storyline.The Best Thing is so much more than a romance. So much more than a singular love story. There are several love stories threaded throughout this book, and every single one of them was stunning in its beauty. Ms. Zapata writes with such authenticity, her characters feel so raw and so real and so wonderfully relatable. As much as I adored the feisty, plucky Lenny and Jonah, her gentle giant, I enjoyed the supporting characters just as much (if not even more sometimes because...Grandpa Gus was the best. The best). I laughed, I swooned, and I sobbed those desperate little hiccuppy sobs. It was emotional perfection and my heart is so full. This was an easy five star read, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. ~ Shelly, 5 Stars
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  • Lady Heather
    January 1, 1970
    A review will be posted shortly.Thank you, Mariana, for the amazing epilogue!
  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.Done thinking about him.Done worrying about him.Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo. Isn’t that blurb the most intriguingly vague thing you have ever read? I was dying to know what Jonah Collins did to Lenny DeMaio. Why is she done with him? Why was he hiding from her? Why must it be so unclear!?The Best Thing is a slo Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.Done thinking about him.Done worrying about him.Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo. Isn’t that blurb the most intriguingly vague thing you have ever read? I was dying to know what Jonah Collins did to Lenny DeMaio. Why is she done with him? Why was he hiding from her? Why must it be so unclear!?The Best Thing is a slow burn romance – in true Zapata fashion. However, the author does a lot of unexpected things with this novel. Our protagonist and hero have a history. And while our couple are both athletes, it isn’t the main focus of the book like some of her previous works. There is also another surprising element that I can’t talk about because of spoilers, but just know that Mariana has some tricks up her sleeve. If you haven’t taken the hint yet, go into this one blind. It is a second chance sports romance that will have you hysterically laughing, melting into a giant puddle of goo, and then sobbing by the end. Lenny’s tribe is full of wonderful supporting characters that will have you wishing fictional characters were real. The Best Thing is the best thing. *winks*4 Stars!Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Ceki
    January 1, 1970
    I know I'm in the minority here, but this book was a total miss for me. I was annoyed from the beginning until the end. If you are familiar with Zapata then you know that she is big on family relationships, but I was bored to death... to be honest. I just don't care about reading so much about uncles, sisters, grandfathers etc in general. I want the main couple to be in the spotlight without having dozens of cousins popping out every second page.It didn't help that every chapter started with a q I know I'm in the minority here, but this book was a total miss for me. I was annoyed from the beginning until the end. If you are familiar with Zapata then you know that she is big on family relationships, but I was bored to death... to be honest. I just don't care about reading so much about uncles, sisters, grandfathers etc in general. I want the main couple to be in the spotlight without having dozens of cousins popping out every second page.It didn't help that every chapter started with a quote from the past when Lenny had been trying to get in touch with Jonah. It basically reminded me each chapter what an asshole he was. I mean, truth be told, I thought he was in (view spoiler)[prison or in coma because those are the only plausible excuses I'd believe, but he was just not feeling well... for almost two years. I mean come on! (hide spoiler)]I was also annoyed by the big plot twist that (view spoiler)[Lenny gave birth to a daughter while Jonah was hiding himself who knows where and moping. (hide spoiler)] This ruined the whole romance because all I could think about was how Lenny had to (view spoiler)[take care of her daughter all alone while he was bitching about nothing in particular far away. (hide spoiler)]And last but not least, Jonah was a one-dimensional character. And this is why books written in the 1st person narrative can fail - they tend to focus on only one character while the others seem cartoonish and unreal. There were pages of Lenny's monologues but none of Jonah's. He didn't seem very human to me and I couldn't connect to his thoughts, actions, or even behavior. And if I don't care about one of the main characters, then I don't care about the book, period.All in all, I think those who are into second-chance romance might like this.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    Meh.
  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    FUCK. YES.
  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    I love all of Mariana's books but this one didn't connect with me. :(
  • Ivy Deluca
    January 1, 1970
    Just for inspo but I needed a reference for Jonah Collins because dear Jeezus:Ahem, ok. *smiles* onto the review.The GoodHmm. Football, soccer, rugby. Rugby, soccer, football. Not sure which order I’d put it them in, but if you know Ms. Zapata’s books, it’s the sports romances that I’ve enjoyed the most. This is no exception. In the interest of keeping this as spoiler-free as possible (and yes, I do think that going in blind is best), I’ll address some of the best (and not best) qualities of a c Just for inspo but I needed a reference for Jonah Collins because dear Jeezus:Ahem, ok. *smiles* onto the review.The GoodHmm. Football, soccer, rugby. Rugby, soccer, football. Not sure which order I’d put it them in, but if you know Ms. Zapata’s books, it’s the sports romances that I’ve enjoyed the most. This is no exception. In the interest of keeping this as spoiler-free as possible (and yes, I do think that going in blind is best), I’ll address some of the best (and not best) qualities of a classic Zapata book. If this is your first Zapata romance, her strength is and always has been her characters. All of her romances are focused on character development and they ALL take time to unfold. You get to know your lead character very, very well (as all her books are written in first person POV). In this book, I adored the familial relationships between Lenny DeMaio, the heroine. The family she was born with and the family she chose. All those relationships are richly drawn and the absolute best thing about this book. The epilogue absolutely slayed me and had me crying - not delicately misty about the eyes, and a sniffle. Oh no, I’m talking tears streaming, hard lump in your throat kind of crying. THAT’s how real and believable the love between the characters was and how much I came to care for them. The romance is sweet, super slow burning, but a bit different than other Zapata couples. When the story begins, Lenny is very, very angry. It’s not exactly clear why, but you know it has to do with Jonah Hema Collins (I’m limiting myself to the point you could read if you got a sample of the book). There’s a seriously big obstacle that gives a slightly deeper connection for the reader to invest in, once you find out what’s going on, and the need for a top notch grovel is here for those who are into that kind of thing in their romances. I really enjoyed it and I didn’t even mind that Ms. Zapata dangled that carrot for so long that I was yelling at my kindle. But I’m a wee bit of a masochist that way, so you know...YMMV.The Bad(ish) and Everything in BetweenAs much as I love Ms. Zapata’s writing, it is not for everyone. One consistent issue I’ve had with her books is the need for some judicious editing. There are scenes that are a little repetitive and don’t help drive the story. Since Ms. Zapata believes in giving the reader a full, intimate view of her characters, there’s a tendency to deep-dive into the minutiae of Lenny’s day to day routine that drag the pacing to a crawl. Also, there are some dangling subplots that didn’t do much of anything for the main focus of the story. Occasionally misspellings such as conscious instead of conscience or small grammatical errors that I’m always correcting in my head while I read distract me, but overall I just wish for a bit of a faster pace to really elevate the storytelling. I’m not saying she should turn into the Roadrunner, but maybe a little faster than the sloth from Zootopia. That’s all I’m asking for.4.5 starsIt’s the epilogue. That epilogue is what’s driving this extra half star. It packed such an emotional punch, I’m still recovering. Overall, here’s so much that I enjoyed of Lenny and Jonah’s romance, in the end it doesn’t matter if the story meandered and the slow burn could sear your eyeballs from staring and hoping for a crumb of sexual contact. It’s emotional and funny and so good, I'm so happy I read this. If you love long, character driven sports romances, you may enjoy this.**borrowed through Kindle Unlimited**For more reviews, visit
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  • Mia
    January 1, 1970
    The Best Thing had such promising start but halfway through book turn for me into disappointment. I really love Zapata writing and her slow burn books but this to me didn't have enough of angst considering what happened between Lenny and Jonah but I did like them together.Grandpa Gus was highlight of book for me and his relationship with Peter was cute.It truly pains me to say that I only like it.
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  • Katy
    January 1, 1970
    This book was everything I needed and while much slower than her pervious stuff, which is saying something, and at times felt a little sluggish when taken as a whole this book was everything it needed to be. Sometimes real life is terrible and you just need something sweet in your life and Zapata ALWAYS delivers and I can’t thank her enough for this sugar sweet story. OMG IT’S LIVE!!!!If you need me over the next 24 hours too bad MZ has a new book and I’m out of commission.I. Cannot. Wait. Somet This book was everything I needed and while much slower than her pervious stuff, which is saying something, and at times felt a little sluggish when taken as a whole this book was everything it needed to be. Sometimes real life is terrible and you just need something sweet in your life and Zapata ALWAYS delivers and I can’t thank her enough for this sugar sweet story. OMG IT’S LIVE!!!!If you need me over the next 24 hours too bad MZ has a new book and I’m out of commission.I. Cannot. Wait. Sometimes I feel like all the books I read in between hers are just to bide the time for my next MZ fix because seriously knowing this is coming out shortly has me planning my reads and knowing whatever I am currently reading is getting dropped once this one hits Amazon.
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  • Ros
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars Oh god. It really, really pains me to write the next sentence, so I’m going to type it really fast and you’re going to read it in a whisper…I didn’t really like this.Ahh. There I’ve said it; I can’t take it back.It makes me a little sad to say that I wasn’t overly keen on this, because Mariana Zapata is definitely in my Top 5 Authors, and multiple books of hers are in my favourite all time reads. But for me personally this one followed Luna and the Lie in being a little bit, well, dull. 3 stars Oh god. It really, really pains me to write the next sentence, so I’m going to type it really fast and you’re going to read it in a whisper…I didn’t really like this.Ahh. There I’ve said it; I can’t take it back.It makes me a little sad to say that I wasn’t overly keen on this, because Mariana Zapata is definitely in my Top 5 Authors, and multiple books of hers are in my favourite all time reads. But for me personally this one followed Luna and the Lie in being a little bit, well, dull. Now we know Zapata is the queen of slow burn, but the magic just wasn’t there. The characters were all brilliant. I loved Lenny, Jonah with a capital J and Jonah with a little j, even Grandpa Gus and Peter were pretty great, but for me there wasn’t enough plot. It was just too slow, and no real burn. One of the things I most love about this author is how she can write about everyday situations and make them interesting, despite being pretty boring. But I think this book stretched everyday life a bit too far.The start of this book confused me. After a few (or a lot) of chapters, the start does makes sense, but it doesn’t really take away from the fact that I was thinking “get a grip, woman” at Lenny’s internal ramblings for most of the first third of this book. When we do meet Jonah, he’s perfect, like literally perfect. I wanted to at least hate him for a bit. So I don’t really think there was enough character progression for him, because how can you improve on being perfect from the get go?Then we kind of just went from the house, to the gym, back to the house and then back to the gym, and there was no suspense or real feeling of surprise at how the story played out - there was just no spark between the pair, other than Jonah being really, really nice.Yet, even with the above being said, the epilogue rescued this from being a complete snooze fest for me. Grandpa Gus’s speech had me welling up!
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