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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?

book review, books

Book Reviews

It is time to talk about books with Steph and Jana! I had a month of decent reads and I wanted to share them with  you! Before we get in to all the reviews, I have noticed that a lot of people have changed their format for reviewing books. What is your favorite way to read book reviews? Just curios. I had played with changing mine up but stuck with my normal way this month.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

The Girl Before

I liked that this book switched back and forth between two characters and times, keeping me interested right from the start. The more I learned about Emma, the less I liked her character. It didn’t take away from my overall feeling of the book though. It was something different and I enjoyed reading it!

Bottom Line: If you are looking for something with a little mystery and suspense but nothing too crazy that keeps you up at night, hiding under the covers…then this would be a good read.

Rating: 4/5

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

The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

The Husband List (Culhane Family #2)

You know my love for Janet Evanovich!!! I just adored Love in a Nutshell last year, which introduced us to the Culhane family. The books in this series really read as stand alone books. This book takes places in NYC in 1894. It is sort of a historical romance, if I had to classify it. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this book, usually I don’t read many historical fiction books.

Staying with the times, Caroline’s parents are trying to find her a proper husband to keep up the good name they have made for their family. Caroline is a very strong willed and independent woman, and doesn’t want to just be married off like some stock prize. If she wants to get married, she wants it to be for love. And she has her eye on Jack Culhane, her brother’s best friend.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a cute love story, and/or a strong female lead and/or you love Janet Evanovich….then you will love this book! I flew through it so fast, and I am missing the characters! It left me wanting more.

Rating: 4/5

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

This book starts out really sad and depressing. It was pretty dark and I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it. But then I got hooked and couldn’t quit. I wanted to see if Susie’s dad would ever figure out who killed her and be able to prove it! I wanted to slap her mom a few times. And give her little brother lots of hugs. I really loved the side characters in this book too…Ruth, Ray Sing, Grandma Lynn, Sam and Hal Heckler. Not many books do side characters well, so I really appreciated them here. I think my favorite part of the book was how Susie described her heaven. How everyone’s Heaven is different.

Bottom Line: If you are in the mood for something a little heavier, I say read it. There is great character development and it certainly had me hooked.

Rating: 3.5/5

I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson

Image result for i don't know how she does it by allison pearson

Kate Reddy is a working mother and the breadwinner for her family. She struggles to balance everything and keep up with the judgy stay at home moms. There were parts of this book that made me laugh out loud, and there are parts of this book that made me want to slap Kate. I hated the way that she treated her husband for most of the book and it almost seemed as though she didn’t really enjoy spending time with her kids. She really sheds light on to how  hard working mothers have it though. And just women in general in a male dominant field.

Bottom Line:This is a cute book for the working mom who is struggling to balance it all and could use a good laugh.

Rating:4/5

Royal Scandal by Marquita Valentine

Royal Scandal (Royals in Exile, #1)

I devoured this book in just a few quick days. Which is quite a feat with a newborn, let me assure you. I really liked the characters in this book and the exiled royal family. It is a fun, light love story about an exiled prince who keeps his identity hidden from his best friend, until he needs to ask for her hand in marriage to get his family back on track. I will say that I read romance novels here and there, and I didn’t really care for how vulgar this one was. I am not sure if I would continue on with the series if they are all written that way.

Bottom Line: This was a quick, fun read if you are in to romance type novels and don’t mind vulgar scenes.

Ratings: 3/5

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

Currently Reading

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

book review, books

It’s All About the Books

It’s  book day! Yay! I feel like I am slowly getting back in to some kind of reading groove. I read some decent ones this month, and a few that were sort of meh. A balanced month I suppose!! Linking up with Steph and Jana.

After I Do by Tara Jenkins Reid

After I Do

Love love love this book!!! I think that anyone who has ever been in a relationship can relate to some of the issues that this couple had. I felt like I could really relate to the characters, as TJR builds them so well. This book reminds you to not take your relationship, partner or family for granted. I found myself reaching for this as often I could and flew through it. Which is quite the task with a newborn, let me assure you.

Bottom Line: Read it! Such a great read.

Rating: 5/5

Pretty in Plaid by Jennifer Lancaster

Pretty in Plaid

I really liked Bitter is the New Black and Pretty Fat, but this one fell a little short for me. I sort of got bored several times throughout the book. I guess right now my expectations from a book are really high since I dont have near the time to read as I used to and something has to be really good to keep my attention for long.

Bottom Line: If you are a really big fan of Lancaster’s, you may enjoy this book. I got bored with it.

Rating: 2.5/5

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

I really enjoyed this book. It is about an American woman who is married to an English man and they live together in Paris. She mainly observes French parenting in this book and I found it all very interesting. To be honest, I have some similar views and instincts of parenting that is common for the French. Which, in reality, is the way that the older generations and our parents raised us.

The way I got Zoe to “do her nights” is very similar to the way all the French do it, which is pausing when they start to cry to see if they really need you or if they will self sooth. It isn’t quite the same as cry it out, which is more aggressive. It had Zoe sleeping 5-6 hour stretches by week 7 without me changing anything. The food section is really what drew me in. I don’t want to have a picky eater and it seems that the French follow more of the “baby lead weaning” which is what I plan to try. We shall see how that goes!

Bottom Line: If you are a parent or soon to be parent, I would recommend this book. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t care.

Rating: 4/5

Trying It All by Chrisi Barth

Trying It All (Naked Men, #4)

This is the forth book in the Naked Men series. Honestly, after reading the last three books I have realized there is very much a formula that they all follow and so I got a little bored. It is still a good series, but I wish the author would  have changed it up some and not been so predictable. This book follows Riley, who is a control freak and Summer who is a live in the moment kind of girl. It is fun to watch the banter with all the guys of the blog/podcast and see all the girls interact from the previous books. I will still read the next one about Josh.

Bottom Line: If you are invested in this series, this book has its good moments. Just a little predictable at this point.

Rating: 3/5

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

Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yours by Christine Schmidt

Yellow Owl Workshop's Make It Yours: Patterns and Inspiration to Stamp, Stencil, and Customize Your Stuff

Flipping through this book, I started to realize that a lot of these projects are very basic and easy. Honestly, that is all the time I have for a crafting project these days anyways. I was a little underwhelmed by them, but they are fun ideas. I think this book would be great to work on with my daughter when she gets a little older. Or as a gift for someone who is just starting out in DIY and has no clue where to start or what to do. This may help boost their confidence. I appreciate that the books spells everything out and makes it easy to understand what to do.

Bottom Line: Would be great for the beginner crafter who is looking for basic ideas. Probably not for the Martha Stewart type person who has a higher level of crafting skills.

Rating: 3.5/5

**I received a copy of Make It Yours from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Did Not Finish

Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone

I am not sure what it is about this book, but I just couldn’t get in to it or care about it. I think maybe I just disliked all the characters? Honestly, because I couldn’t get in to this book, I went about a month without reading anything and when I decided I wanted to read again I didn’t grab this one. this was a did not finish for me, so I suppose you can take my review with a grain of salt. The premise of it sounded great, maybe I just wasn’t in the mood? I refuse to force a book on myself.

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

Currently Reading

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The Girl Before