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Books

I managed to read a lot of books this month!!! A few of them were rather short, so I suppose that helped. Let just jump right on in! Linking up with Steph and Jana.

Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams

Pies and Prejudice (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery, #1)

A small town girl returns home after her husband cheats on her. You get a little love, an old rivalry, a pie shop and a small town murder with big drama.

So, looking at the title and cover of this book I was expecting a little cheese. And it had it’s cheesy moments, but honestly? I really just loved the story. This is a cozy mystery, which I find myself a huge sucker for. Look at the Stephanie Plum series and the Java Jive series that I read. This one had a real southern feel to it being based in a small Georgia town. I think that parts of the  book were overwritten as far as the imagery goes…but overall it was cute. There is also a little magic, which I actually liked.

Bottom Line: If you love cozy mysteries or southern stories, grab it! It is a series and I feel like I might be in it for the long haul.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls

When Lane discovers her family’s secrets, she runs far away. She returns several years later when her cousin goes missing, forcing her to face those secrets again. 

What a messed up family!!! I sort of had an idea from the beginning what the secrets were and who was behind Allegra going missing. That didn’t take away from the story though. These are some damaged, imperfect characters and sometimes, I just want that in a book. you know? You get some depth that way and an interesting story.

Bottom Line: If you like dysfunctional families and difficult situations, then this would be right up your alley. It could be a trigger for others, so make sure you read the full synopsis before diving in. I would recommend the book.

**I received a copy of The Roanoke Girls from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Expats by Chris Pavone

The Expats

Kate has a secret, her husband is offered a job in Luxembourg and she decides this would be the great fresh start that she needs. Or is it? Another American Couple arrives and her secret is now threatened.

I picked this up after Laura raved about it last month. I did this one via audiobook and I will say, it was a little hard to follow that way with all the time jumping. Could have been a non-issue in book format. You find out bits of Kate’s secret early on, and more and more of it comes together as the book goes on. I was a little shocked at some of the twists and how much lying and deception there is throughout the entire book. It makes you question everything in your own life and what you think you know about people.

Bottom Line: This book kept me interested the entire time and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it if you are looking for something good to read.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

I didn’t know who Felicia Day was before I listened to this book. It sounded interesting and I was looking for something carefree to “read.” (I did this on audiobook, the only way I can really read nonfiction and not get bored.) It was sort of like Felicia was there with me just telling me stories throughout her life.  She is hilarious and a little nerdy, which kind of reminds me of, well, me. And she lived in Alabama for awhile which is pretty cool.

Bottom Line: I got a little bored a few times and sort of tuned out, but overall it was a pleasant read.

69 Million Things I Hate About You by Kira Archer

69 Million Things I Hate About You

Girls has insufferable boss. Girl wins 69 million dollars in the lottery. Girl decides to not quit and see what it takes for her boss to fire her.

This book was so cute and I am so glad that I requested it!!! I think we have all had that boss that we wish we could just pay back a little karma to, no? I literally laughed out loud at some of the things that Kiersten does to Cole throughout the book. This is a romance book, but it isn’t overly racy. You get a nice, slow build and this author is known for her playfulness and happily ever after.

Bottom Line: If you have ever had an insufferable boss, or you just want a laugh. This is for you! So cute! When I was half way through it, I texted Kristen and told her to go request it immediately.

**I received a copy of 69 Million Things I Hate About You from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure

Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness

I knew when I looked at the title of this book, there would be a lot of Christian references in it. To be honest, I am just looking for a way to get motivated to work out and get back on the healthy train again and I never really thought about looking at it from a spirituality point of view. I went back and forth from liking this book and feeling like she was getting a little preachy. I think some of the things that she said that I already know, really hit home  hearing her say it. Like, setting goals and sticking to them. She said, if you lost one pound a week, next year at this time you would be 50 pounds lighter. I just sat there and thought…wow…..she’s right.

I appreciated the stories from her childhood, Full House, and her struggles. But don’t read this book thinking it is more of a memoir, because it isn’t. Also, the recipes in this book are ridiculous. I think we all know how to make tacos, no?

Bottom Line: I would be hesitant to recommend this book to just anybody. I think if you are Christian and wanting to lose weight, you would appreciate it more than someone who isn’t as spiritual. For me, I didn’t take much from the book and I honestly skipped over some parts.

Yes, My Accent is Real by Kunal Nayyar

Yes, My Accent Is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You

Big Bang Theory is one of my absolute favorite shows, so I knew I wanted to listen to this on audiobook. Kunnal himself narrates and he is just as hilarious as you want him to be. He shared stories from his childhood, college years, dating, a little bit about Big Bang and ended with how he met his wife and their wedding.

Bottom Line: If you are a fan of Big Bang Theory and want to learn more about Kunal’s life, this is a fun read. Highly recommend the audiobook version.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

Lara Jean keeps the love letters that she has written to all of her crushes in a box her mother gave her. Somehow the letters get sent, and her personal life is forever changed.

This was such a cute YA read. While it was light and fluffy, I felt like the characters are a little more complex than your typical YA book. I won’t give anything away if you haven’t read it, but there was a character that I was rooting for the whole time and was happy at the end of the book. There are two more books in this series, and I hope to read those soon!

Bottom Line: Read it if you are looking for a cute YA or need a break from darker subject matter.

Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Seriously... I'm Kidding

I think Ellen is hilarious and I enjoyed listening to her read this on audiobook. I really liked what she said about being proud of how old you are and that you made it another year. And also about just being yourself. I felt like I wanted a little more from this book? It was kind of short and some of the chapters were very sparse.

Bottom Line:  If you are an Ellen fan, go ahead! This is a really short audiobook, just over three hours. I borrowed it from my library…probably wouldn’t pay for it.

Always by Sarah Jio

Always

Kailey is engaged to the perfect man, but runs into her now homeless first love. Now she must chose who her heart really belongs to.

Bottom Line: I am going to be very honest and say that I did not finish this book. The writing was really choppy for me, and I don’t like being spoon fed while I am reading. I feel like the premise was good, but the writing fell short. I didn’t really feel anything from the characters and life is too short to finish a book you are not enjoying.

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

Currently Reading

Sting by Sandra Brown

Sting

book review, books

Books

Well, book day sure did come around quick this month! Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books!

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

My Not So Perfect Life

This was such a cute story, sort of a finding yourself book. Would be great for a twenty something who is making their way in the world. Or you know, a thirty something who still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up and can relate to the shitty commute and politics game at work. I found myself LOL’ing a few times and I could really relate to Katie. I just loved how the theme in the book seemed to be that life isn’t always as it seems or is portrayed on Instagram. The characters were just wonderful and I really enjoyed it!

Bottom Line: Cute read! Just do it!

Rating: 5/5

Turbo Twenty Three by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum Series)

Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum, #23)

You all know my love for Stephanie Plum! It seems like nothing changes in Plum land. She is still juggling Morelli and Ranger, Lula is still hilarious and these idiot criminals keep doing ridiculous things. Sometimes I wonder how many more of these there could really be. Yet, I never tire of reading them! I do wish that she would finally start to chose between Joe and Ranger though, you know? At least have a direction somewhere.

Bottom Line: If you are a fan of the series, this gives you a good dose of Stephanie, Lula, Ranger and Morelli!

Rating: 4/5

Falling by Jane Green

Falling

I do love a good Jane Green novel! You know you can count on her for a solid beach read, and this one is even set in a cute little beach town. You have Emma, a former Banker from the big city, move to a quiet little town and get close with her landlord/neighbor Dominic. I liked the whole aspect of Emma trying to figure out who she is outside the banking/corporate world and turning a new leaf. She starts her own interior design company and I really liked that aspect of the book. Having Dominic’s son and his on and off feelings with Emma kept the book interesting, but there is just something that fell a little flat for me.

Bottom Line: While falling just a little flat, overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you are looking for a beach read or are a Jane Green fan. It wasn’t my favorite of hers, but it is still worth the read.

Rating: 3/5

The Digital Handshake by Paul Chaney

The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media

I always find consumer behavior interesting and like to keep up with the latest in marketing, advertising and just general consumer behavior. Of course, these days a lot of that revolves around the internet and social media. This book was written several years ago, but the main points still hold true today. I liked the author’s passion and thought the book was well written. I liked how he sort of describes social media has a cocktail party where meeting and conversation takes place.

Bottom Line: This is a great book for understanding consumer behavior and how to spread word of your business in a digital age with social media. I think some aspects even apply to blogging. While the book is a few years old, the main message is still very applicable today.

Rating: 4/5

Currently Reading

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls

I started this book last month and I am only 60 pages in…still. It isn’t that it is a bad book, it is just that it is a physical book and I just cant seem to find the time to read right now. All the other books that I “read” this month were audiobooks in the car on my way to and from work, after I drop Zoe off. Zoe likes to listen to music in the car. I hope to finally finish it this month. And jump on the twenty Netgalley books I have sitting around. I wish Netgalley did audiobooks lol. It would make my life so much easier!

book review, books

Books

Another month of books have come and gone! Linking up with Jana and Steph.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders

I devoured this book much quicker than I thought I would! I picked it up every chance I got. This is much longer than your normal beach read, but it didn’t lag in the least bit and I loved all the details and plot development. The beach town setting was perfect and I loved that it wasn’t always perfect through the story.

Bototm Line: This is the perfect beach read!! You get a little love, a scandal, some mystery and a storm.

Rating: 4/5

Brew or Die A Java Jive Mystery by Caroline Fardig

 

Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery

I best describe this series and the leading lady as a more competent Stephanie Plum. This is the forth book and I have to say, I am still enjoying the series! I love all the characters and the shenanigans. Jules is officially a licensed PI and takes it on as a second job. This one kept me reeled in because Jules teams up with someone you would least expect to work work on a case!! The love tangle between Jules, Stafford, Pete and Ryder had me hooked the whole time but then I ended up getting pissed at the very end of the book and slapping my head. I am hoping there is another installment and Juliet finally moves on in one direction or another. I am team Ryder all the way though. As for the mystery part, I sort of had suspicions early on in both investigation she worked on, but there were a few surprises and twists thrown in.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a cute, cozy mystery or you like the Plum series and Janet Evanovich, then give this a try!

Rating:4/5

**I received a copy of Brew or Die from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Royal We by Heather Cocks

The Royal We

When I first started seeing reviews for this book, I rolled my eyes. I could care less about the royal family. I mean, I wish I had Kate’s closet and I think she is gorgeous….but that is about where my thoughts about them end. I was sure I wouldn’t care to read this book….but then all of you…people who normally don’t even read this type of book…gave it a great review. Ok fine, I will read it!!!

Anyways, I LOVED this book!!! It is a long one, and I managed to have it finished in a week which is a pretty big deal for me right now. There is so much character development and little details in this book and I loved all the little side stories leading up to the current time. This was just a super fun read that kept me interested the whole time.

Bottom Line: Read it!! This is probably one of my favorite books so far this year. I really just enjoyed it so much.

Rating:5/5

A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman

A Man Called Ove

At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. I sort of got lost a little in some of the details of the story at the beginning. I will be vague to not give any spoilers, I then realized what was really going on with Ove and what he was tying to do. That kept me interested and then I really started to enjoy the story. I liked how the book bounced back and forth between current day, and stories from his past that shed light to lead him to who he is. I like how Ove is strict with his routines, principals and views on life. I have a feeling we are all going to be a little cranky like Ove when we are older.

Bottom Line: This was a sweet book and I really enjoyed it.

Rating:4/5

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber

Dashing Through the Snow

I seriously don’t follow the holidays or seasons when it comes to reading. I needed a little snow in my very hot July! This was a cute love story and I enjoyed the holiday aspect of it. To be completely honest though, I never really connected with any of the characters and the story felt a little cheesy to me and very predictable.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a light holiday read, this might fit the bill. It wasn’t my favorite though.

Rating: 2.5/5

Currently Reading:

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls

I am only about 60 pages in to this one so far, but I can already tell it is messed up, but I am intrigued and enjoying it.

book review, books

Books

Linking up with Steph and Jana for another month of books! So I am going to pose a question. Do you read the reviews of all the books if a person shares what they rated it? I have considered dropping my rating system on these posts because I catch myself skipping over books that people didn’t give a high rating for and the thing is, it might not  have been a  book for them but could have totally been a book you would have enjoyed. You know? Let me know what you think.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)

I am weird about YA books, I can either take or leave most of them. I have to say, this may have been one of the best YA books I have read in a long time. You get a little teenage angst, friends that are changing and drifting, new love, inner struggles, confidence issues, everything you remember from high school. I really related to the characters in this book and I loved the story line. It wasn’t always perfect, which made me love the book even more.

Bottom Line: Just read it!

Rating: 5/5

Love, Alabama by Susan Sands

Love, Alabama (Alabama, #2)

I may have picked this book simply because Alabama was in the title. This was a love story set in small town Alabama. It kept me intrigued the whole time because you don’t find out exactly what happened to Emma in her past until near the end of the story and what happened could shake things up between her and the guy she has fallen for. I liked the small town drama and the book was cute. Of course, a book that takes place in Alabama wouldn’t feel complete without the Alabama vs Auburn touch. I felt like maybe the ending was a little rushed and wrapped up in a bow too quickly.

Bottom Line: This was a quick and cute love story if you are looking for something light and fluffy, but still intriguing.

Rating:3/5

**I received a copy of Love, Alabama from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey

It took me a little bit to get in to this book, but once I did I was hooked. This book does a good job talking about mental health and anxiety in an informal and lighthearted way. I feel like it brings attention to something that a lot of people deal with, but it isn’t a sad or dark book for such a heavy and serious topic. If that makes sense? You get to grow along with the main character and learn some about how crippling anxiety can be. It is heartwarming and there were a few LOL moments, which I always appreciate.

Bottom Line:If you are looking for something a little different, but good…read it!

Rating: 3/5

Meet Me Halfway by Kim Carmody

Meet Me Halfway

I was a little irritated with the immaturity in the male character of this book, but I think that was the point since he is a few years younger than our leading female. I liked the football and reporting aspect of this story. It was a cute love story, and I even laughed out a loud a little. I also got a little frustrated with the characters and their reactions to certain events. Mainly with Olivia. But I suppose that is what kept me engaged in the story to see where it was all going.

Bottom Line: If you like the football or media scene, and want to read a good love story….I thought this was a cute read.

Rating:3/5

**I received a copy of Meet Me Halfway from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)

You guys. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. Reading sad dog books. Art of Racing In the Rain is still embedded in my mind and heart, and now this book. I coincidentally started this book on the anniversary of Gracie’s passing and didn’t even realize it. Maybe she was trying to tell me hi. This book gave me all the emotions and I had a complete breakdown, missing Gracie so much in the middle of this book. This book gives me hope that maybe one day Gracie will come back to me in the body of another dog.

Bottom Line:If you are a dog person, this is a great read. Just be ready with a box of tissues.

Rating:4/5

Currently Reading

Brew or Die a Java Jive Mystery by Caroline Fardig

Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders

What are you reading?

book review, books

Books

It’s book day! I read some really good books this month from some of my favorite authors, so I just want to jump right in and share them with you!!! I think this is probably one of the best book months I have ever had as far as quality goes. Linking up with our wonderful hosts Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books.

Saving Grace by Jane Green

Saving Grace

I love a good Jane Green book, she is the queen of beach reads! Saving Grace did not disappoint! I sort of guessed from the beginning what was going to happen, but that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed this read! You really get some good character development and it does bring to light some mental health awareness. I found myself flying through it to see if my suspicions were right or not. Is Grace crazy or not?

Bottom Line: Read it! Great for the beach or a good pallet cleanser. Jane Green fans will appreciate.

Rating: 4/5

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Oh TJR, how I love thee. Let me count the ways!!! This book was soooo different from TJR’s other books, but I loved it just the same. As always, there is fantastic character development, and I loved having a story within a story. The lives of the characters were messy and imperfect and it makes you love them even more. It was fun learning all about Evelyn Hugo’s life and get a glimpse inside the real Hollywood living.

Bottom Line: Read it!!! And every other TJR book.

Rating: 5/5

**I received a copy of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Maybe in Another Life

This was the only one I had left of the older books I hadn’t read of TJR and I couldn’t wait to dive in! You guys, this book!!! I couldn’t put it down. I loved how bounced back and forth between two outcomes, if Hannah went home with Gabby or if she stayed at the bar with Ethan.  I thought for sure when it started that I wanted the book to end with one outcome but then I decided a few chapters in that I was really enjoying both story lines. The thought that we could be living in multiple universes where we lead slightly different lives is crazy to think about and I think that is what I loved so much about this book.

Bottom Line: Read it!!! This book was SO good!!

Rating:5/5

Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova

Inside the O'Briens

After I read Still Alice, I knew I had to read Lisa Genova’s other books. But I also knew that I was going to need some time in between because Still Alice crushed my heart in ways I don’t want to talk about again!v This time we take a look inside Huntington’s Disease. You really get to learn a lot about the O’Brien family and their little corner of Boston. This book really makes you think about what you would do if you were one of Joe O’Brien’s kids. If you know you have a 50% chance of having Huntingtons, would you want to know for sure? I went back and forth on if I would or not and I am still not 100% decided.

Bottom Line: Read it! You really get good character development and you learn more about the disease and an understanding on not just how it effects the person who has it, but their entire family.

Rating:4/5

Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

Wish You Were Here

I am obsessed with Renee Carlino’s books. Before We Were Strangers and Swear on this Life were both so good, I couldn’t wait to dive in to this one!!! Right from the start this book had me hooked! I read half of it in one day which is rare for me these days with a baby! I kept trying to guess what was up with Adam but sort of knew in the back of my mind what was going on. I don’t want to say much more because I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone. Let me just say that parts of this book just broke me in a such a good way. I had a little cry, I had many smiles and all the feels and emotions.

Bottom Line: Renee Carlino has quickly become a must read author for me and I highly suggest this book! I can promise this will be on my favorites list for the year. Shout out to Kristen for letting me know it was on Netgalley.

Rating: 5/5

**I received a copy of Wish You Were Here from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything

I flew right through this book. Everything I guessed early on in the book ended up happening, so the book was a little predictable for me….but that didn’t take anything away from the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!!! Could you imagine living a life where you aren’t even allowed to go outside? To experience the world or come in contact with people other than your mom and nurse on a daily basis. I cant wait to see the movie that is being made for this book!

Bottom line: Read it!!! It is a quick, enjoyable YA.

Rating: 4/5

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

Hello, Sunshine

I sort of guessed what was going to happen in this book too, so again, a little predictable but oh so good! I loved that this book sheds some light on the fact that we all try to be someone we aren’t on social media. We share our curated life, and Sunny let that curation take over her whole life. Sifting through photos and coming up with perfect phrases and making everything look just so. We all kind of do that, don’t we?

 

Bottom Line: Read it! This would be the perfect, quick beach read!

Rating: 4/5

**I received a copy of Hello, Sunshine from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between

I love Lauren Graham. Lorelei Gilmore is one of my top favorite characters ever! I really enjoyed this on audiobook since she read it. I found her talk on dieting hilarious. She makes an excellent point by saying that Opera is still working on it. So there isn’t much hope for the rest of us right? And we should all just relax! Plus she referenced First Wives Club so that scored major points for me. I really enjoyed hearing her talk about Gilmore Girls and some of the other shows she was on. She is just as witty as you want her to be!

Bottom Line:If you are a fan of Gilmore Girls or Lauren Graham in general, then this is a must read!

Rating:4/5

Currently Reading

Love, Alabama by Susan Sands

Love, Alabama (Alabama, #2)

Have you read any of these? What is on your must read list?