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.


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

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  • Reply Heather May 9, 2017 at 7:57 am

    I used to read a lot of Janet Evanovich and I love historical romance so that book sounds great. I liked The Girl Before too! It just kept me guessing enough to hold my interest and the whole set up was kinda different so I appreciated that about it. Ahhh please tell me your thoughts on TJR’s book when you finish it!!!!

  • Reply Jess May 9, 2017 at 8:00 am

    I played with my book format, too, this month before sticking almost exactly with the way I usually do it. I don’t mind the books being grouped by rating, but at the same time, I sometimes find myself skipping some books while reading posts if they are grouped that way. So I stick with all together for now.

    The Girl Before was good – I’m interested to see how it will be if they make a movie of it. I don’t know if I could handle The Lovely Bones now – I always meant to read it but I watched the movie, which was absolutely lovely in ways and I don’t know if I could handle reading the book. I want to read Seven Husbands!

  • Reply Laura May 9, 2017 at 8:52 am

    I loved The Lovely Bones – it was sad, but definitely interesting, and you are so right about the side characters. So many authors get it wrong, but it was so good! I’ve seen so much on this TJR, but Jefferson Co library sucks and has ZERO of her books. I’m going to have to break down and buy them, I guess!

  • Reply Rebecca Jo May 9, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Its been so long since I read The Lovely Bones… I need a refresher on that one. Gotta look it up on Goodreads.

    I love books that switch from characters/views. That keeps me interested too.

  • Reply Elle sees May 9, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Lovely Bones and IDHSDI–I always get excited when I’ve actually read a book on these monthly lists, haha!

  • Reply Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! May 9, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I really want to read “The Girl Before”–the library SERIOUSLY needs to get it back in stock!

  • Reply Andrea @ Living On Cloud Nine May 9, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I wondered what you would think about the girl next-door. Pretty decent. And a little chilling too. The lovely bones, it’s probably been a decade since I read it, and I actually remember liking the movie better. You’ve help me add some to my list girl! Always love your reviews.

  • Reply Tanya @ A Mindful Migration May 9, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I used to read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. She does fun females well. I really liked The Girl Before, especially how my perception of the characters, particularly Emma, kept evolving. I’m reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo this month too. It’s my first Taylor Jenkins Reid and I’m so excited! 😀

  • Reply SMD @ Life According to Steph May 9, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I read The Lovely Bones many years ago and loved it. But it was heavy as hell and I carried that around for a little.

  • Reply Ann-Marie May 9, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I would totally read ‘i don’t know how she does it’! Great choice of books!

  • Reply chelsea jacobs May 9, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I felt the same way about The Girl Before! It was a unique way to tell a story!

  • Reply ShootingStarsMag May 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I read the Lovely Bones back when it came out and really loved it, but it’s definitely a dark one.

    I hope you are enjoying Evelyn Hugo; I hear good things!

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says May 9, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Emma was a shit. I didn’t like Jane all that much either.

    I loved The Lovely Bones so much that I refuse to see the movie.

  • Reply Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders May 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I remember reading The Lovely Bones in college because I really wanted to see the movie. I don’t know if I read it today if I would maybe like it better, but I think that it was just too depressing of a book for me to like it. I did like that Susie described heaven as different for everybody too! I’m adding I Don’t Know How She Does It to my list! That sounds like a cute and light read, which I always love!

  • Reply Carly May 9, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I can never decide how I want to do my book reviews either. I really like that you include the bottom line, just to sum things up. Janet Evanovich’s books always sound so fun but I’ve never read one- I need to change that soon. I know I saw the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It, and I think I enjoyed it, but now I can’t remember and want to rewatch it.

  • Reply kathy @ more coffee, less talky May 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    boo, Seven lives isn’t even in my library!

  • Reply StephTheBookworm May 9, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I read The Lovely Bones years ago and have always loved it! Definitely dark and sad though. I really want to read I Don’t Know How She Does It!

  • Reply Audrey May 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I’ve never read anything by Janet Evanovich but that books sounds great! Would you recommend reading the nutshell one first? The Seven Husbands… is on my TBR list, too!

  • Reply kristen May 9, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    the girl before is on my list.
    i read the lovely bones YEARS ago… i picked it up because there was an recommendation on the cover from my favourite author at the time (the time traveler’s wife author) and i thought it would be similar.. LOL NO. so i definitely held that against it. but looking back, it’s a book that has stayed with me for easily over 10 years.
    the Culhane Family books are on my list.
    i hope you love the evelyn hugo book!

  • Reply Olya @ The Siberian American May 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    I really liked The Girl Before too! I need to finally read The Lovely Bones at some point!

  • Reply Laura May 9, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    You had some winners this month! I’m going to have to add them to my list. I tried to read The Lovely Bones a few years ago and just couldn’t do it. I tried again last summer but only got a few chapters in. I think it might be because it’s set in the town where I live, and I work in child welfare so I feel like depressing books about kids are the last thing I need to read in my free time!! But, I do thing the cover is beautiful! 🙂

  • Reply Biana May 10, 2017 at 6:40 am

    I’m waiting for the girl before to finally get off the wait list for me!! Oh I didn’t know that TJR had another book – need to check that one out!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply Nicole May 10, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I’ve been wanting to read Tara jenkins Reid for awhile now. I’m hoping The Seven Husbands…is the book I will finally commit to! Can’t wait to see what you think!

  • Reply Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis May 10, 2017 at 11:45 am

    The girl before is on my reading list…glad to hear you liked it. Adding the royal scandal to my list…that sounds like a great read.

  • Reply Nancy @ NY Foodie Family May 10, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I loved The Lovely Bones when I read it years ago. I enjoyed The Girl Before as well. Royal Scandal sounds like a quick, fun read.

  • Reply Rach @ This Italian Family May 10, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    The Husband List sounds really cute!

  • Reply Pam May 11, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I see I Don’t Know How She Does It alot in second hand book stores. Maybe it will be a good beach bag read? Pam 🙂

  • Reply Morgan May 20, 2017 at 7:59 am

    The Lovely Bones has been on my bookshelf since high school – but I haven’t had the guts to read it because I thought it would be too sad. I think I saw a movie preview for I Don’t Know How She Does It starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Does anyone know how the movie compares with the book? The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is on my To Read list too. I’ve seen a lot of buzz about it on the blogs.

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