Scenes From Our Gorgeous Getaway to Galena, IL {Pictures}

Scenes From Our Gorgeous Getaway to Galena, IL {Pictures}

My family and I went on a 4 day getaway to beautiful Galena, IL. Who knew Illinois could be so pretty?! We rented the most GORGEOUS lake house (think Chip and Joanna Gaines style). It was STUNNING, massive, and right on the water. PERFECT. We shopped at gorgeous boutiques, ate delicious food, played many rounds of Uno, went on a 3 mile hike (where a snake slithered right up to my foot!), roasted S’mores, and enjoyed this special time with just the 4 of us. Here are some snapshots that I took of our lovely trip 🙂

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my personal life with you today. I’ll be back on Wednesday with a post all about the books that I purchased while on my trip (I bought 4)!

Have you been to Galena, IL? Highly recommend. This was our 2nd trip there and I cant wait to return for a 3rd!

Until next time…

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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1 Book I’m Currently Reading, 1 Coffee I’m Currently Drinking, 1 Thing Currently Making Me Happy

Book Coffee Happy’s newest series where I share the book I’m currently reading, the coffee I’m currently drinking, and 1 thing that is currently making me happy!

Book I’m Currently Reading:

I bought this book last weekend from the most LOVELY bookstore while on a last minute vacation with my family. I will have lots of pictures from my trip and more details on this bookstore posted on the blog next week! Stay tuned!

Goodreads Synopsis of In Five Years {Rebecca Serle}:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

I’ll post my review once I finish reading!

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

I saw this mug in a specialty grocery store a few weeks ago and FELL IN LOVE WITH THE QUOTE. So much so that I took a picture of the mug and spent FOREVER on Etsy trying to find this quote on a mug with more color than just black and white. Lots of options but none called to me. Last weekend, I was in a GORGEOUS boutique while on my vacation and the original black and white mug was the first thing to greet me as soon as I walked in the door! Totally fate, totally meant to be, total serendipity. I have grown to love the black and white and this quote is definitely one of my new favorites! I’ve been happily drinking coffee out of this mug every single day since I bought it. Best quote. Cutest mug. Love.

Currently Making Me Happy:

So by now I’m sure you have heard alllll about this candle from every influencer on the Internet. Apparently evvvvveryone LOVES it and I’ve been wanting to smell it for months! I was in an adorable garden store a few weeks ago and was pursuing the candle section. I picked up this candle and was instantly in LOVE. Omg. Only THEN did I read the brand on the lid…THE CAPRI BLUE VOLCANO CANDLE! Yesssss! Seeing the price (for 8.5 oz and only 1 wick), I put it back down and walked away….just to be DRAWN right back to it once again. Yes it smells that good. Yes it’s worth all the hype. Yes I wanted to buy the larger size but bought the smaller one instead (for now, lol). This candle seriously smells INCREDIBLE.

From the Capri Blue website: “Capri Blue is built on the stylish back of our famous volcano candle! With its familiar feel and cult following, Volcano is the perfect blend of citrus and sugar notes. Like the excitement and energy of a summer night rendezvous, this fragrance is simply unforgettable.”

Apparently you can buy it at Nordstrom, Anthropolgie, etc. Amazon sells it too! There are so many different tin colors and tin designs and each are stunning. I linked the beautiful design that I have below!

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with love and BOOKS!

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you HAPPY?

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images below to order these items through my Amazon affiliate links. When you order through these links, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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Why I Loved Reading The Windfall {Diksha Basu} and You Will, Too! {Book Review}

Why I Loved Reading The Windfall {Diksha Basu} and You Will, Too! {Book Review}

Last December my family and I went on vacation and we got stuck on a mountain. However, BEFORE all of that craziness occurred, my family and I visited the most amazing bookstore I have ever visited! I purchased only 1 souvenir from that glorious book store: Diksha Basu’s The Windfall.

Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding has been on my to read for YEARS (it was on my list of books to read in 2020) but my library hasn’t carried it. When I saw The Windfall at that glorious bookstore on our trip, I knew I had to read it! I asked the lady working if they also carried Destination Wedding but sadly they did not. I happily bought this book instead and was so excited to FINALLY have the opportunity to read and review one of Basu’s books!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Windfall {Diksha Basu}:

For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all.

The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters..

My Book Review AKA: Why I Loved Reading The Windfall {Dasha Basu}:

I truly believe that out of that entire massive selection of books at that awesome book store, I could not have made a better choice 🙂

I’ve mentioned before how much I absolutely love reading books about cultures different than my own. I always find it so fascinating to distinguish between cultural similarities and differences!

I’ve also mentioned that throughout my entire life, I’ve always felt particularly drawn to learning about the Indian culture. So many aspects of Indian culture have fascinated me from the time I was a little girl and has continued to do so.

The Windfall is EXACTLY the type of book that I find so compelling. I have read MANY books which revolve around Indian culture but none as raw and honest as this book. I learned so much without necessarily being taught…just from reading about the lives that these characters lead. I found myself Googling numerous times while reading about various cultural topics just to enhance my knowledge. I love when a book is so well written that it makes me want to learn even more factual information about the setting beyond the story!

I completely fell in love with this wonderful book and these characters. Each had such an interesting story to tell and I was equally invested in each of their stories for different reasons. I loved these characters!

And the descriptions…I truly felt like I was in India!

I finished reading this book one night last week and I woke up the following morning already missing these lovely characters. The Windfall gave me so much to think about! It’s messages about family, status, culture, love, and what is truly important in life were deep and meaningful.

AND….after checking for the millionth time…my library can now FINALLY receive a copy of Destination Wedding for me to read! I’m so excited, I have very high expectations. In fact, I’m pretty sure I love it already 🙂

Bottom Line:

Such a special book.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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What I’m Currently Reading (Liking It), What I Recently Read (Only Read 5 Pages..Hated it), What I Think I’ll Read Next

Oh hey there, you sexy beast 😉

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW! The Three Ws: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words for hosting this fun weekly post (which is supposed to be posted on Wednesdays….but….Happy Friday!)

What Are You Currently Reading?

Goodreads Synopsis of We Were Sisters {Wendy Clarke}:

I turn to where I left my baby in his pushchair and pull up short. With a racing heart, I look around wildly, fear gripping my stomach. I only looked away for a moment. The pushchair and my baby are gone.

Kelly is taking her twin daughters to their first day of school, ushering them into the classroom, her heartbreaking to think they might not need her anymore when she turns around and sees that her newborn baby is gone.

As a desperate search ensues, baby Noah is quickly found – parked in front of a different classroom. But when Kelly reaches forward to comfort him, she finds something tucked beside his blanket. A locket that belonged to her sister Freya. A locket Kelly hasn’t seen since the day Freya died.

And then Kelly’s perfectly-ordered life begins to unravel…

I will post a full review once I finish reading! So far I’m liking it 🙂

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Goodreads Synopsis of Leave the World Behind {Rumaan Alam}:

Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.

Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another? 

I read 5 pages and called it quits. 5 PAGES! It’s like the author had a thesaurus next to him while writing and kept interjecting massive words just to make his writing sound more interesting. I just couldn’t do it. I’m disappointed because I think the synopsis sounds incredible! I just couldn’t get past the unnecessary monstrously descriptive words. Ugh. Example from page 2 where the main character describes the smell of his children:

“To mitigate all this Archie sprayed a chemical into the thatch under his arms, a smell unlike any in nature, a focus groups’ consensus of the masculine ideal. Rose paid better attention. The shadow of a young girl in flower: a bloodhound might find the metal beneath the whiff of entry-level cosmetics, the pubescent predilection for fake apples and cherries.”

Now I have a pretty extensive vocabulary and clearly I spend a vast amount of my time with my nose in a book…but…this writing was just too much for me. 300 pages of this? No thank you. Couldn’t even make it to page 6!

Have any of you read this book? I think it sounds great…as long as you have a thesaurus next to you while reading, lol.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Oh man…I’m not sure! I have a bunch of books sitting here but unfortunately none are calling my name. Ugh. I think my weekend plans might just need to include a trip to my local library!

Have you read either of these 2 books? What did you think (no spoilers)? What are you currently reading? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with love and BOOKS!

Xo,

Jenny

Click on the images below to order through my Amazon link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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2 Great Gifts for Book Lovers

Recently I bought myself 2 amazing bookish items! These would be great gifts for any book lovers in your life….orrrrr you can buy them for yourself as I did, lol 😉

Book Lover Gift #1: Book Mask

I saw a post in a book blogger Facebook group from a member making and selling the most gorgeous book masks I have seen! I had been searching for one for months but couldn’t seem to find a good one and as soon as I saw hers, I was IN LOVE. I instantly messaged her asking for her Venmo information so I could place my order! Less than a week later, my stunning mask arrived in my mailbox.

It’s PERFECT.

It’s hard to tell but it has GORGEOUS gold threading throughout. It’s AMAZING when it shines in the sun!
I was so excited to wear it that I didn’t even think to check if it has a wire on the nose! I was pleasantly surprised later to realize that it does!
Wire nose clip! Love!

The inside of it is also so beautiful!

If you would like to place your own order, here is her contact information (she gave me permission to post it):

Thank you so much, Christina! I absolutely love my beautiful book mask!

Book Lover Gift #2: Book Pop Socket

I’m obsessed with having a Pop Socket on my phone and my old one was no longer doing it’s job. It kept coming (flying!) off and I was spending more time reattaching it than actually using it! Not to mention that it’s gorgeous swirly pattern was rubbing off around all of it’s edges. Ugh! My phone was more than overdue for a refresh.

After much searching, I found the most beautiful one (linked at the bottom of this post)!

So beautiful! I love all the gorgeous colors!
Bright yellow phone, bright purple nail polish, bright colored Pop Socket = Perfection!

I’ve had it attached to my phone for almost a week now and I love it so much! Hasn’t flown off even once 😉

Happy Wednesday! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I’ll be back here on Friday with a post about a book that I disliked so much that I only made it through 5 pages before calling it quits…

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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Why I Stopped Reading The House in the Cerulean Sea {TJ Klune}…But You Shouldn’t!

Why I Stopped Reading The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune…But You Shouldn’t!

Hiiii! I’m so sorry I went a bit MIA last week. It was my daughter’s Spring Break and while I had every intention of still blogging, spending that extra time with my kids just felt so good. I usually blog each morning while my son takes an online class but last week I traded that in for daily breakfast in bed with my daughter while we snuggled up to watch iCarly. It was my favorite part of the whole week and I’m missing it today 😦

I had promised you my thoughts on The House in the Cerulean Sea last week…here they are today!

**This is book #1 of the reading challenge that I set up for myself. For more on this challenge and why I’m forcing myself to do it, read THIS POST**

Goodreads Synopsis of The House in the Cerulean Sea {TJ Klune}:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

My Review of The House in the Cerulean Sea {TJ Klune}:

So the book begins with a girl levitating blocks above her head. That’s page 1. Already I wasn’t into it but I decided to keep reading.

And then the main character meets a sprite. I googled the defination of sprite and here’s what Marriam- Webster had to say: An elf or a fairy.

By this point, I was reaaaaaaaally struggling to continue reading but forged through in hopes of expanding my literary genre comfort zone.

And then around page 70ish there was a statue. That moved. On it’s own.

Aaaaaaand I was DONE.

The writing itself was good! The fact that I read 70 pages is proof of that!

I just absolutely hate this type of fantasy. SO. MUCH.

I hate books in this genre, I hate television shows in this genre, I HATE movies in this genre. The whole “alternate universe where things aren’t what they seem” is NOT something I enjoy.

Now, I must say that I’m disappointed that I just couldn’t do it. I’ve heard such BEAUTIFUL things about this book! Yes I went in with a nervous energy but I really don’t think that hindered my acceptance of any of it. Nervous energy or not, moving statues are just not for me.

I am 100 percent positive that this book gives a beautiful message but unfortunately I just couldn’t get past all of the fantastical elements to find it. People say that this book is WONDERFUL! If you love (can tolorate?) fantasy, this sounds like a truly fantastic read. I stopped reading..but you shouldn’t!

This book reminds me of Harry Potter in so many ways. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will probably love this book! I read the first 2 Harry Potter books and just couldn’t read any more.

Now what does this mean for the other 2 fantasy books that I will be (forcing myself?) to read? Well, 2 things actually:

#1 I wasn’t excited to read them before but now I’m REALLY not exited to read them….but I will! At least I’ll TRY.

#2 I think I actually might feel differently about them that I do about this book because although they are clearly fantasy, I do think they are a different TYPE of fantasy. From what I’m gathering, they are about real people who do fantastical things. No made up worlds, no moving statues, no levitating blocks, etc. Am I wrong? Please tell me (warn me?) if I’m wrong. The Time Traveler’s Wife is an example of a book like this and that book is most definitely fantasy! BUT it’s about real people who do fantastical things. Does that make sense? All of the statues in that book aren’t able to move. As it should be. I LOVED The Time Traveler’s Wife (read my thoughts HERE).

Reading challenge or not, I will forever stand by the fact that there are too many good books out there to continue reading one that you aren’t enjoying. And I reaaaaaaally wasn’t enjoying this one. So I stopped reading. Just like I always tell all of you to do!

Moving on…

Bottom Line:

This type of fantasy is just not for me no matter how hard I try.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

This book clearly isn’t for me but you might love it!  Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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The #1 Reason Why Everyone Should Read This Beautiful Book

My 9 year old daughter drew this picture of me last night and I love it so much!

I read this book last week and I absolutely loved it. It’s such a wonderfully written book with such a loud and clear message.I had never heard of it but randomly found it on the shelf at my library a few weeks ago and it’s synopsis immediately grabbed me! It’s such a wonderfully written book with such a loud and clear message. If you haven’t yet read this book, READ THIS BOOK!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Bright Side of Going Dark {Kelly Harms}:

As one of the most popular influencers on social media, Mia Bell has lived her life online for years. With her celebrity dog and gorgeous fiancé, she is planning the ultimate virtual wedding—expensive, elaborate, and entirely paid for by sponsors. But off-camera, her world is far from picture perfect. After being jilted by her fiancé and faking her nuptials to please her sponsors, Mia finally has had enough. She heaves her phone off a cliff, ready to live—and maybe find love—offline for a change.

Mia’s sudden absence doesn’t go unnoticed, especially by techie loner Paige Miller, who hacks Mia’s account and begins impersonating the internet celebrity. Paige has her reasons. Her half sister, Jessica, idolizes Mia and desperately needs something to believe in. If taking over Mia’s online persona is Paige’s only means of connecting to her sister, so be it.

Creating a like-worthy life is more fun than Paige expected. But when she grows too bold and is caught in the act, a fiasco ensues that could forever change Mia, Paige, and the people who love them. Because somewhere amid the chaos is an invaluable lesson—one that only real life can teach.

My Review of The Bright Side of Going Dark {Kelly Harms}:

I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK.

Oh it’s such a beautifully written book, one that made me THINK.

I can admit that I am fully, 100 percent obsessed with my phone. Who isn’t???

This book made me think about so much about the digital world in relation to the everyday, real life world. From social media to apps to influencers and how each of them relate to our own lives, this book truly opened my eyes on so many levels.

EVERYONE should read this book as it will open your eyes to exactly how much we are all UNNECESSARILY relying on our phones for HOURS each day. This book seriously made me think about just how much time I am spending on my phone from using Google maps when I need directions, emails, text messages, SOCIAL MEDIA, the reality tv websites that I visit daily for updates (!), all of my apps, etc. And don’t even get me started on Amazon 😉

This book made me THINK. Is all of this time spent on our phones really necessary? Spoiler: It’s not.

These characters are so endearing, so lovable, and so special…this book and it’s deep messages will stay with me for a very long time. I read this book over 3 days but could easily have read it cover to cover in 1 day. It’s delightful!

I highly recommend The Bright Side of Going Dark for anyone but ESPECIALLY for those (like me) who are unnecessarily obsessed with their phones. Such an important topic and so wonderfully addressed.

This was my first Kelly Harms book and I’m a big fan! I love her writing style! Can’t wait to read more 🙂

Bottom Line:

This wonderful book and it’s important message gave me SO MUCH to think about…

**I’ll post my thoughts on The House in the Cerulean Sea later this week! Stay tuned!**

Have you read The Bright Side of Going Dark? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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3 Reasons I’m Dreading Reading This Book…But Will Anyway

Ok I’m doing it. The first of the 3 books that I’m determined to read sometime in 2021 to push me out of my reading comfort zone (read THIS POST for my full explanation of what I’m doing and why). I’m DREADING reading this book…but will anyway.

I’m starting this one tonight. It was tough for me to choose which of the 3 to start with and MANY of you gave me your opinions on here, Facebook, and Instagram on which of these 3 books I should read first.

Am I excited? Eh.

This is how I’m feeling about starting this book.

Do I reaaaaaaaaally hope I love it because so many people have recommended it? YES!

Goodreads Synopsis of The House in the Cerulean Sea {T.J. Klune}:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Reason #1 I’m Dreading Reading This Book:

I’m not a fan of fantasy.

Reason #2 I’m Dreading Reading This Book:

I’m not a Harry Potter fan and I’m already getting Harry Potter vibes with the fantasy, the children, etc.

Reason #3 I’m Dreading Reading This Book:

I feel like I’m going against everything I believe in and stand for when it comes to reading for pleasure. Nobody should read something they aren’t excited about! HOWEVER, I vowed to complete this little experiment and I’m not a quitter.

Cerulean Sea, I’m coming for you!

I’ll keep you posted….

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend will be filled with love and BOOKS!

Xo,

Jenny

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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This Book Is Amazing! Lost You {Haylen Beck}

Haylen Beck’s Lost You had been on my TBR for quite some time and I was so excited to finally be able to get my hands on a copy! Spoiler: It’s AMAZING. Check out this synopsis…

Goodreads Synopsis of Lost You {Haylen Beck}:

A provocative and unputdownable psychological suspense about two women locked in a desperate fight over a child each believes is rightfully hers

Libby needs a break. Three years ago her husband split, leaving her to raise their infant son Ethan alone as she struggled to launch her writing career. Now for the first time in years, things are looking up. She’s just sold her first novel, and she and Ethan are going on a much-needed vacation. Everything seems to be going their way, so why can’t she stop looking over her shoulder or panicking every time Ethan wanders out of view? Is it because of what happened when Ethan was born? Except Libby’s never told anyone the full story of what happened, and there’s no way anyone could find her and Ethan at a faraway resort . . . right?

But three days into their vacation, Libby’s fears prove justified. In a moment of inattention, Ethan wanders into an elevator before Libby can reach him. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Ethan is gone. Hotel security scours the building and finds no trace of him, but when CCTV footage is found of an adult finding the child wandering alone and leading him away by the hand, the police are called in. The search intensifies, a lost child case turning into a possible abduction. Hours later, a child is seen with a woman stepping through an emergency exit. Libby and the police track the woman down and corner her, but she refuses to release Ethan. Asked who she is, the woman replies:

“I’m his mother.”

What follows is one of the most shocking, twist-y, and provocative works of psychological suspense ever written. A story of stolen identity, of surrogacy gone horribly wrong, and of two women whose insistence that each is the “real” mother puts them at deadly cross-purposes, Lost You is sure to be one of 2019’s most buzzed-about novels.

My Review of Lost You {Haylen Beck}:

I. Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down.

Omg.

From the very first page, I was ALL IN. It literally GRABBED me! The first night I picked it up, I thought I would read 10 pages and then go to sleep. Aaaaaaaand 70 pages and 1:00 AM later…

Everything about this story was CRAZY and AWESOME. Such detailed characters, such detailed stories, and every single prediction that I had turned out to be incorrect. LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

As a mother, this book absolutely angered me, warmed me, scared me, broke my heart, and made me hug my kids even tighter. I felt EVERYTHING while reading this book. Do you remember that shirt that I wore during my recent trip to Tennessee?

I kept thinking about the term “Mama Bear” the entire time while I was reading! Mama Bears will do ANYTHING to protect their children and they love their children FIERCELY….this book sums up those feelings so perfectly.

I loved Haylen Beck’s writing style and I’m excited to read more of his books (FYI Haylen Beck is actually a pseudonym of author Stuart Neville). And…SHORT CHAPTERS! You KNOW I love that 🙂

I finished reading this book late last night and I hard time sleeping because I couldn’t stop thinking about these characters and their stories! Omg.

Bottom Line:

Absolutely loved it.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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I Hate This Book and I Love This Book: Ghosted {Rosie Walsh}

Man do I have a lot to say about Rosie Walsh’s Ghosted. I HATE this book…..aaaaaaand I LOVE this book. How does that even happen???? My thoughts on this one are truly all over the place.

Goodreads Synopsis of Ghosted {Rosie Walsh}:

When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened–there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other: the truth. 

I Hate This Book and I Love This Book: Ghosted {Rosie Walsh}:

First of all, it’s like 3 separate books in one. The first third of the book is…not good. Not good at all. It’s super confusing, super hard to follow, and super boring because there is quite literally nothing explained. It’s like the story just STARTS and the reader is thrown right into it without ANY explanation or background knowledge. I HATED the beginning of this book mostly because I had no clue what the hell was going on! A lot of the book is like this but the beginning is especially confusing. Hated it. Almost gave up reading.

The next third of the book is…better! The story starts to come together, characters aren’t quite so random, and you begin to get the sense of what is happening.

And then the last third of the book is….dark. Dramatic. Heavy. AMAZING. SPECTACULAR. IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT DOWN.

Before reading, I assumed this would be a light hearted and fun read! Girl meets boy and boy doesn’t call, sounds light! Spoiler: It’s not.

Something I loved: While I found a few parts of this book very predictable most of it was NOT! The best part of this book were the surprising twists that it took when I least expected it. Story lines completely took paths that I NEVER saw coming.

Something I didn’t love: I found more than 1 story line quite unbelievable and a bit TOO coincidental.

This overall story was incredible…but the actual writing was not. I am NOT a fan of Rosie Walsh’s writing style. I found it so confusing and I kept mixing up the characters right up until the very end. Story lines weren’t fully developed, everything kept bouncing around in terms of timelines and points of view, and overall it all just felt so disjointed to me.

And I’ll just say it. Sarah’s obsessive behavior was cringe worthy.

HOWEVER….the actual story was INCREDIBLE and quite literally left me breathless at the end. I actually heard myself give a big audible sigh after I closed the back cover, lol. There was A LOT of story packed into those 337 pages! I guess that’s what happens when each character and each story line isn’t given enough time to be properly developed and you don’t waste pages filling in the reader of any background knowledge for the entire beginning of the book, lol.

But here’s the confusing part: even though it was completely disjointed, this book as a whole was WONDERFUL. I’m not sure how that even happens but looking back on what I just read…it somehow all just worked to come together to tell this amazing story.

Although I’m clearly not a fan of Rosie Walsh’s writing style, I do respect her ability to write a book like this. Wow.

It turns out that my review of this book is just as confusing as the beginning of the book, lol.

I find it perfect that Liane Moriarty gives her recommendation of this book right on the front cover. I have such a love/hate relationship with Liane Moriarty (you read more about that HERE) and I also have a love/hate relationship with this book! Perfect pairing 😉

Would I recommend Ghosted? For the story as a whole and for the last 100ish pages alone…..HELL YES. I can’t stop thinking about it. Omg. WHAT. A. STORY.

Bottom Line:

If you can make it past the first 100ish pages…this story is truly incredible.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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