book review, books

Books

To prove that January was the longest month ever, somehow I have a TON of books to review. At the bottom I left a list of must reads and ones to skip. I still provided you with my thoughts and bottom line like I do every month. I have some really good ones in here!!! Linking up with Steph and Jana.

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Mean Streak

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. 

I love a good Sandra Brown thriller romance! This one did not disappoint!!! It captivated me immediately and had a few twists that I didn’t see coming. I really got wrapped into these characters and the side plots and how it all came together.

Bottom Line: Read it! So good!

Fitness Junkie by Lucky Sykes

Fitness Junkie

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin…her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job.

I thought that January was the perfect time to read Fitness Junkie, as I am trying to hop back on the bandwagon. While there is a lot of fitness and health talk in the book, there is so much more. I found it to be a book about self love and discovery. The characters and situations really cracked me up at times. I think this is a perfect tribute to our weight obsessed culture to be honest.

Bottom Line: This was a great read. If you have ever been on a diet or workout plan, you could definitely relate to Janey.

**I received a copy of Fitness Junkie from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

Someone Else's Love Story

Shandi and William’s lives collide in destiny one afternoon in a gas station hold up. Shandi is juggling finishing college, raising her three-year-old genius son Natty and doesn’t know that her blond god Thor who stepped between her son and a gun, has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. 

I picked this up from the library after Kelly told me that most of this author’s books take place in Alabama. Funny enough, this book is actually in Lumpkin County Georgia and Atlanta. Driving around all the areas I used to frequent daily. I loved that part of it. But more than that, this book was so good!!! It really captivated and I had to know what was going to happen. I loved all the characters in the book.

Bottom Line: Read it!!

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Today Will Be Different

Eleanor knows she’s a mess, but today will be different. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens.

I enjoyed Where’d You Go, Bernadette a lot so I was excited to dive in to this one. I really liked that this book takes place all in one day. But other than that, the character in this book was too similar to Bernadette. Her kid even goes to the same school as Bernadette’s kid. And she has the same issues with the other moms. The same quirky personality. I just got really bored with this book and thinking that it was a lessor version of Berndette. So I quit. Perhaps if I would have read this one first, I would have liked it more.

Bottom Line: Meh. It wasn’t horrible,  but I didn’t love it either. If you have already read Bernadette…you might be disappointed.

Pok Pok: The Drinking Food of Thailand by Andy Ricker and J.J. Goode

Pok Pok: The Drinking Food of Thailand

When I got this book, I thought it was going to just be another cookbook to add to my collection. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a lot of literature on Thai food and culture as well. There are some wonderful photographs throughout the book and a lot of different recipes that I have never seen anywhere else. While I feel like some of the recipes require more than I am willing to do (live shrimp), I can tailor them to fit my needs just fine. I will say that some of the ingredients would be hard to find in my area, and some of the recipes sound complicated/labor intensive. So I wouldn’t recommend picking up this book just for the recipes. There aren’t as many recipes in the book as I thought there would be.

Bottom Line: If you like travel books or Thai cuisine, this would be a great addition to your collection.

** I received a copy of Pok Pok: The Drinking Food of Thailand from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

Gods in Alabama

For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene’s door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene’s break with her former hometown is forced to an end.

This book takes place in a small backwoods town in Alabama. You get the Southern Baptist ridiculousness, the racists against a mixed race couple and small town drama. This book went in a direction I never saw coming. I had mixed feelings about Arlene and for awhile I was just trying to figure out where it was all going. I liked how the book bounces back and forth between what is currently going on and memories that she had. They all lead you to what happened and why.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed this one. I liked Someone Else’s Love Story better, but I plan to continue to binge some more from this author.

The Beau and the Belle by R.S. Grey

The Beau & the Belle

Beau Fortier moves into Lauren’s parents guest house when she is just a teenager in high school. She had a major crush on him. Now she is back in New Orleans ten years later and Beau seems interested. But things have changed. Lauren is older and more confident.

I was so so so excited to receive an ARC of this book!!! I was hooked right from the beginning, and really loved the past and present view points of the book. Grey had me back in school listening to Wonderwall and excited to get on AIM!

This book was hilarious and the characters are totally relate-able. I especially loved the setting in New Orleans with a splash of the culture and food scene. I haven’t been in a really long time and the book had me yearning for a trip. There were so many quotable, hilarious lines that had me laughing out loud.

I really love a good slow burn of the romance and the hot hot  hot chemistry! The inner dialogue  was perfect. This was my first R.S Grey book and I can promise you, it won’t be my last. I am on a quest to binge and read them all now. I read this book in two sittings, which is saying A LOT considering my current phase in life.

Bottom Line: The perfect RomCom!!! I highly suggest this book!

**ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.**

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box are items and a story along with why they broke up.

Min came off as a bitter ex and I got tired of hearing her say GD a million times. I also got tired of her referring to herself as arty and different. Yeah yeah yeah, we get it. Let’s move on!!!! The chapters ended with “and that’s why we broke up,” right after talking about something nice Ed did that had absolutely nothing to do with why they broke up. And I didn’t finish the book, but it seems like Min fell in love with this ass of a jock after just two weeks of knowing him? Sort of ridiculous if you ask me.

Bottom Line: I broke up with this book, it just wasn’t for me.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

He Said/She Said

Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever. 

So, it wasn’t that this book was bad by any means. It’s just that it moved really slow, and didn’t really keep my attention. It took me forever to read it, and I often ditched it and went to something else. The last little bit of the book picks up and was more attention grabbing. I think if you don’t mind waiting til the very end of the book for a twist or thrill, then this would be good for you. I didn’t mind the alternating POV’s, but I wasn’t real big into metaphor of the solar eclipse and bright and dark people.

Bottom Line: If you like a slow developing thriller, then this might be for you.

**I received a copy of He Said/She Said from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors

I waited forever to get this book from the library! When it came in, I dropped everything else I was reading. This book grabbed me from the start. There were so many times I just wanted to scream or was just do disturbed. It really makes you think what you would do if you were in Grace’s situation.

Bottom Line: YES!!!! SO GOOD!

The Anti-Inflammation Zone by Barry Sears

The Anti-Inflammation Zone CD: Reversing the Silent Epidemic That's Destroying Our Health

I think that the Zone diet in general brings valid points, but is hard to keep up with 100% of the time. Everything in moderation is a better approach for long term maintenance. I felt like the author uses scare tactics and I don’t like that approach. I can summarize the book for you by saying take fish oil, follow the Zone diet, exercise and reduce your stress. There is nothing mind blowing in this book. He emphasizes fish oil over and over again. I cant stand the taste of most fish and the thought of taking an oil that may either make me smell like it or taste it repulses me.

Bottom Line:  I already summed it up for you! No need to read.

The Billionaires Unexpected Baby by Kira Archer

The Billionaire's Unexpected Baby (Winning the Billionaire, #2)

One minute, pregnant Leah Andrews is throwing up over the side of a yacht and the next, she’s married to party boy Brooks. It’s an arrangement born of sheer desperation to save her job, but now the tabloids are all over them, their friends are running a pool betting on whether they’ll actually stay married until Baby Day, and worst of all, she and her new husband might just be falling for one another. 

I really loved the first book in this series, 69 Million Reasons I Hate You, so I was really excited to read this book. You get little snippets of  Cole and Kiersten from the first book, and get to know Leah and Brooks more in this book. This was a super cute story and I enjoyed it. Not as much as the first, but still good in its own ways.

Bottom Line: Cute read! If you are looking for a fun love story series, try this one out!

**I received a copy of The Billionaire’s Unexpected Baby from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Currently Reading:

 

When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

When We Were Worthy

In Conclusion

Must Reads: Behind Closed Doors, Someone Else’s Love Story, The Beau and The Belle, Mean Streak Fitness Junkie

Skip: The Anti Inflammation Zone, Why We Broke Up, He Said/She Said and Today Will Be Different

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31 Comments

  • Reply Joey February 13, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Oh my gosh–behind closed doors DISTURBED me!! I read it practically all in one sitting because I couldn’t stop thinking about it any time I had to put it down (you know–like, for work and life and and and). So so good!

  • Reply Andrea @ Living On Cloud Nine February 13, 2018 at 7:18 am

    I too read Behind Closed Doors in one sitting and literally shuttered, sooo good but soooo freaky! I have not read any of the others but your reviews are some of those I respect the most so they always lead me to tossing a book from them in my Amazon cart, lol!! Have a GREAT DAY!

  • Reply Rebecca Jo February 13, 2018 at 9:02 am

    I finished The Beau & the Belle right after I had my post typed up so keeping it for next month – spoiler – LOVED IT!
    I totally wrote down Fitness Junkie on my GET list… that sounds like something totally up my ally!!!
    I’m still SHOOK about Behind Closed Doors

  • Reply Stephanie February 13, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Well I’m always on a diet or workout plan so sign me up for Fitness Junkie. And Behind Closed Doors sounds good, I’ll look for that one next.

  • Reply ShootingStarsMag February 13, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Man, you really did read a lot in January! That’s awesome. I’m so curious about Behind Closed Doors. It sounds fascinating – I’ll have to see if I can read it anytime soon. 🙂

    -Lauren

  • Reply kristen February 13, 2018 at 10:20 am

    yay so glad you liked mean streak! so good.
    i struggled hardcore through today will be different. not a fan at all.
    i can’t tell you how happy i am that you liked The Beau and the Belle!!! i hope you like her others too. i will absolutely keep you updated on her new releases (just in case i don’t respond to your comment for like 6 months which is my current time lol).
    i need to read the next billionaires book, glad you liked it, even if not as much as the first one.

  • Reply HEather February 13, 2018 at 10:24 am

    YAY Mean Streak is on my list so I’m glad it is good. I want to read Sting and Seeing Red too. I also want to read the first Billionaires book because I have that on my kindle. I liked The Beau and the Belle too 🙂 Her books are super cute.
    I totally agree with you about He Said/She Said – I expected it to be unputdownable and it was very much the opposite. It wasn’t completely horrible but not very suspenseful really. I liked Behind Closed Doors!! Looking forward to her new one.

  • Reply Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue February 13, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I am glad you’re liking the Joshilyn Jackson books – I am excited to read more by her!

  • Reply Ana February 13, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I know you didn’t like it, but at the end, one gets to find out exactly why they broke up and it’s totally worth it!

    I loved Bernadette better too! the new twist on the husband was too much for me on the new Maria Sample book.

  • Reply Lauren February 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Oooh thank you for all the newest additions to my TBR List!

  • Reply Tanya @ A Mindful Migration February 13, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Because I am the world’s biggest baby, I have been refusing to read Behind Closed Doors because I had to pay a library fine for never picking it up, although I have no recollection of putting it on hold or getting an email that it was available. WaaWaa, I know. And it sounds like I need to put on my big girls pants and go back and get the book. 😀 Someone Else’s Love Story sounds really good. Adding it to my TBR.

  • Reply Olya @ The Siberian American February 13, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Behind Closed Doors was definitely a good read! I think I’m in the mood for another Sandra Brown soon! Mean Streak sounds really good. 🙂

  • Reply StephTheBookworm February 13, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Oh my gosh, you crushed it this month! Tell me your secrets for reading so much! LOL This used to be me, but I’m so slow now and it’s sad!

  • Reply Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders February 13, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I don’t think that I could handle the girl from Why We Broke Up either. I think that I’ll pass. The Beau and The Belle is already on my list and I need to pick up a Sandra Brown book! She’s been all over the linkup the past couple of months!

  • Reply Dani February 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Damn girl, you were on a reading streak last month! Why We Broke Up and Today Will Be Different are both on my TBR, so disappointing that they weren’t that great. I may just wait a while on Today if the characters seem to be the same. Someone Else’s Love Story sounds really good though, adding that one!

  • Reply SMD February 13, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I freaking loved Gods in Alabama. I have enjoyed a few others of hers also.

  • Reply Gina February 13, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Mean Streak was so good! I was let down by the two other Sandra Brown books I read after that, but I might try her latest. Behind Closed Doors…I was in the minority on that I think. Did not love it but have seen so many other bloggers who loved it. Adding Fitness Junkie to my list – sounds like a fun chick lit read and I need one of those once a month or so. 🙂

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says February 13, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Why We Broke Up was cute but not good, if that makes sense. And I did not enjoy Today Will Be Different, either. But I did like Behind Closed Doors a lot. Currently reading The Breakdown by the same author.

  • Reply Akaleistar February 13, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    Fitness Junkie sounds like a great read!

  • Reply Kristin February 13, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    The Breakdown by B.A. Paris, to me, was better than Behind Closed Doors…but I really enjoyed BCD too!

    I couldn’t remember for a minute if I even finished Today Will Be Different. And no, I didn’t. I returned it to Audible like a year ago (maybe more…). It was a shame because I really enjoyed Bernadette.

  • Reply Kristen February 13, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    I liked but didn’t love Behind Closed Doors. I enjoyed The Breakdown much more. I’m currently on the waiting list at the library for her newest book, and I’m eager to see how it compares to the other two.

    I really liked He Said/She Said, but I can definitely see how it’s not for everyone. In fact, while I was reading it, I remember thinking something like, “I feel like a lot of people won’t like this because it’s not a fast-paced thriller.” It was my second book by the same author, and I have a few others on my list. I really like her writing and storytelling styles.

    I have a different Joshilyn Jackson book on my list, but Someone Else’s Love Story sounds interesting. Adding it!

    I’m glad you had such a great reading month in January! 🙂

  • Reply laura February 14, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Mean Streak, Behind Closed doors – LOVED them, as you know. I also really love Joshilyn – you got so many good books in this month. I went ahead and bought Beau & Belle so I can finally be in the cool club with you and Kristen.

  • Reply Biana @ Blovedboston February 14, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Okay – Behind Closed Doors – so disturbing but SOO GOOD! Definitely agree with you on that one! I just finished that first book about the billionaire based on your recommendation and thought it was really cute, so I’m going to read the billionaire’s baby next!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply Carly February 14, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I’m getting behind on my library books I need to read before the go back, but I just added mean streak to my list to check out so I can finally read a Sandra Brown book! I felt the same way about Today Will Be Different, from the synopsis I thought it was going to be so good, but I really didn’t care for it.

  • Reply Kate February 14, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Wow look at you go! January was seriously the longest month, and now February is whizzing by way too quickly. Fitness Junkie looks like a fun read, I’ll need to add that to my list <3

  • Reply Sierra February 15, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    January definitely felt like a forever month! You did get a lot of reading in! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

  • Reply Danielle February 15, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I sooo want to read Mean Streak and Behind Closed Doors. I hope you are enjoying We Were Worthy.

  • Reply Carolann February 15, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    I just read Behind Closed Doors in practically one sitting. I LOVED it!

  • Reply Audrey February 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    So many books, Nadine! Good for you!!
    Someone Else’s Love Story sounds really good!
    Pok Pok also sounds interesting, although no live shrimp for me… ha.
    The Beau & The Belle is EVERYWHERE. I know you & Kristen both read it and loved it. I might have to give it a try. Lol!

  • Reply Alexandra February 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    GIRL YOU READ SO MUCH! GAH! 🙂 I loved The Beau and The Belle too. So darn cute, makes me want to go back to NOLA. (not that it takes much!) Glad I read it too! 🙂 I need to read some Sandra Brown! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  • Reply Pam February 20, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I have a copy of Behind Close Doors and was on the fence. After reading your review I’m going to definintely read it! I also enjoyed Someone Else’s Love Story but haven’t read Gods in Alabama. Pam 🙂

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