Book Review: The Housekeeper {Natalie Barelli}

I so randomly found Natalie Barelli’s The Housekeeper on the library shelf and picked it up without knowing anything about it.  That rarely happens to me in the “New Release” section of the library!  I thought it sounded GREAT so I happily added it to my pile of books and left the library excited to start reading.  I couldn’t wait to read and review this book!

And then the world shut down and suddenly I was given plenty of time with my stack of library books 🙂  Having not loved the previous book that I read, I was more than ready to start fresh with a new book!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Claire sees Hannah Wilson at an exclusive Manhattan hair salon, it’s like a knife slicing through barely healed scars. It may have been ten years since Claire last saw Hannah, but she has thought of her every day, and not in a good way. So Claire does what anyone would do in her position—she stalks her.

Hannah is now Mrs. Carter, living the charmed life that should have been Claire’s. It’s the life Claire used to have, before Hannah came along and took it all away from her.

Back then, Claire was a happy teenager with porcelain skin and long, wavy blond hair. Now she’s an overweight, lazy drunk with hair the color of compost and skin to match. Which is why when Hannah advertises for a housekeeper, Claire is confident she can apply and not be recognized. And since she has time on her hands, revenge on her mind, and a talent for acting…

Because what better way to seek retribution—and redress—than from within the beautiful Mrs. Hannah Carter’s own home?

Except that it’s not just Claire who has secrets. Everyone in that house seems to have something to hide.

And now, there’s no way out.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3.5 Stars

The Housekeeper was…good!  It held my attention from page 1 and I read through the entire book fairly quickly.  It had short chapters (MY FAVORITE) and twists (including the ending) which I didn’t see coming.

However, there were definitely elements to this book which left me feeling underwhelmed.  I found the writing to be choppy and containing so many details that it was nearly impossible to keep everything straight.  It severely lacked character development which again made parts of this story hard to follow.

The biggest problem that I have with this book was that parts were just so unrealistic.  Like…severely unrealistic.

And here’s something which I’ve never seen before.  DO NOT READ THE AUTHOR’S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AT THE END OF THE BOOK.  She somehow managed to spoil the endings of her other books in this one author’s note (insert face plant emoji here)???  For someone who HATES SPOILERS, this infuriates me and unfortunately makes me now not want to read anything else she has previously written.  Like…HOW did her editor allow that one sentence to go through?!?

Bottom Line:

Far from the best psychological thriller I’ve read but also far from the worst.

***If you are looking for some GREAT psychological thrillers (one of my favorite genres), check out THIS POST!***

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Looking for a book to read during the Coronavirus Quarantine? This book is a GEM.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this Coronavirus outbreak.  It’s such an unsure time for so many people.  My family is quarantined in our home and we have been spending our time doing lots of home based activities…including reading!  I have been reading for a little bit each day and so have my children.  When things in the world seem unsure…stability in routine is what always helps to ground me.  Reading and blogging are 2 parts of my routine that I have been focusing on keeping throughout this quarantine.  I hope you are finding a bit of stability in your life during this unsure time as well..and if you just so happen to be looking for a BEAUTIFUL book to read…oh do I have a lovely one for you 🙂

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she’s learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light.
Carry only what fits in a suitcase.
Toothbrush? Yes.
Socks? Yes.
Emotional attachment to friends? foster families? a boyfriend? Nope!
There’s no room for any additional baggage.
Muir has just one year left before she ages out of the system. One year before she’s free. One year to avoid anything–or anyone–that could get in her way.

Then she meets Francine. And Kira. And Sean.

And everything changes.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

Oh this book is so, so beautiful.  I absolutely loved it!  I fell in love with these special characters and this is a book I know will stay with me for quite some time.  I truly adore a good YA (young adult) novel and this one was so wonderfully written.  Jennifer Longo was able to convey exactly what teenagers sound/feel like through her writing and it made this story so much more real in every way.

I couldn’t wait to read more of this book each day which was a VERY welcomed feeling considering that was NOT how I felt about the last book that I read…

This intricate story is so well written and offers such a valuable perspective into a topic in which many of us are unfamiliar.  The characters were so wonderfully well developed and many of them were so lovable.  I fell in LOVE with these characters, especially Muir.  I miss each of them already (AKA the sign of a wonderful book).

As I mentioned in this post, I’m always taking pictures of quotes while reading that I love.  This lovely book had 3 quotes that really stuck out to me while reading.  I did the best I could to Photoshop the surrounding sentences in my photos…you know how I feel about spoilers!  I would never spoil a book for you!

I really just love those quotes.  So much.

Upon finishing this book, I now have 2 thoughts:

  1. This book would make such a beautiful movie!
  2. My fingers are crossed for a sequel…???

Bottom Line:

I absolutely loved this special book.  You will, too.

Stay safe and healthy, Friends.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  What book(s) are you reading while at home during the Coronavirus outbreak?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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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Why I Stopped Reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo {Taylor Jenkins Reid}…But You Shouldn’t!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid came to me so incredibly highly recommended but once I started reading, I knew this book was just not for me.  However…I still highly recommend it!  Keep reading to see why!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means–and what it costs–to face the truth.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

EVERYONE loves this book. Let me stress this…EVERYONE.

When I posted a photo of this book on both Facebook and Instagram, the responses were overwhelmingly positive!  Not ONE single person said that they didn’t like it!  How rare is that?!

So I began to read.  In fact, I read 150 pages.

Taylor Jenkins Reid has such a way with words and writing beautiful stories.  Have you read One True Loves?  If not, you should.  I adored that book!

So here’s the thing…it took me over 40 years to realize this fact about myself but now that I know it, it is such a powerful tool when it comes to book selections.

I strongly dislike memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies.

Finishing Michelle Obama’s book felt like a chore (my thoughts on her book are HERE).  The book itself was beautifully written and her story was wonderfully interesting…I just found myself so bored with all of the details.  And this is EXACTLY the way that I felt about Evelyn Hugo.

Granted this book is NOT a memoir, autobiography, or a biography….but….the entire premise is this fictitious character her telling her entire life story to someone so that person can take it and write a tell all.  So pretty much the same thing.

I tried…I did…and it’s a LOVELY book…it’s just not for me.  HOWEVER, I would highly recommend it to others!  From what I did read, it was wonderful and well written.  This is NOT a negative review!  I personally just couldn’t get excited about hearing all of the details of her life and found myself so completely disconnected from all of it.  Exactly how I would feel reading any memoir, biography, or autobiography…

Once I decided to stop reading, I Googled the book summery so I could read how the rest of the book played out.  I’ll be honest…reading all of the details of this book make me even more confident in my decision to move on.

I so wish I enjoyed this genre!  I would be allllll over Jessica Simpson’s new book if I was…have any of you read it???

Bottom Line:

Evelyn Hugo was not a book for me…but might be a book for you!

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  Do you enjoy reading memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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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Book Review: The Wives {Tarryn Fisher}

Last week I wrote a post about how my impatience for reading this book momentarily outweighed my desire to maintain my clutter free home.  I literally couldn’t wait even 1 more day to read this one!

So I bought it.  And I read it.

Synopsis From the Back of the Book:

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life? And who is his mysterious third wife?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

2 Stars

This review is going to be nearly impossible to write without giving anything from the book away but I’ll just sum it up by saying this:

I really hated this book.

There is SO MUCH hype surrounding this book right now and I truly believe that it’s all due to exploring a topic which isn’t a very commonly addressed one.  I really think the hype is completely surrounding the topic and has nothing to do with this actual story.

The book synopsis sounds so amazing, right?  So here’s something that has never happened to me before…I’ve never read a book where the synopsis was SO MISLEADING as to what the book was actually about.

This book was hardly about polygamy at all!  I was looking for the juicy details behind this fascinating way some people choose to live their lives.

Side Note:  I could never be a part of a polygamist family.  I am an only child and sharing has NEVER been my strong suit.  Sharing my wonderful husband and beautiful children???  HARD NO.

If the topic of polygamy fascinates you, watch Sister Wives on TLC.  I’ve been watching it since the very beginning and it’s one of my favorite shows.  #teamchristine

Something else that has never happened to me before…I felt like that first half of this book was an entirely separate book from the second half!  Like…how does that even happen?! So weird.  For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the 1st half SIGNIFICANTLY more than the 2nd half and I didn’t even really enjoy the first half, lol.

The ONLY reason I am giving this 2 stars was that I DID enjoy Tarryn Fisher’s style of writing.  Short, easy to read chapters.  I quickly read through this one.  Also, this book DID provide a bit of thought provoking insight into the emotional aspect of polygamy…

Would any of my local readers like to own my copy of this book?  Obviously I have zero desire to read it again.  While I clearly don’t recommend it…if you would like it, it’s yours.  I can put it on my porch for you!  Just leave a comment down below on this post  telling me that you want it and I’ll randomly choose a “winner” (notice winner is in quotation marks because I truly don’t consider this book a prize, lol).  Check my post on Monday to see if you’ve “won”!

Bottom Line:

A perfect example of why some books just don’t deserve the hype they receive.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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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This. Book. Is. AWESOME.

Omg this book.  It’s AWESOME.  From page 1 I was ALL IN…you will be, too.  Couldn’t put it down!  LOVED.  IT.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

4.5 Stars

This was the 2nd Robyn Harding book that I’ve read and although I didn’t love the last one, I truly did love this one!  Her writing is descriptive, easy to follow, and definitely captivating.  I flew through this book and it held my interest from page 1.

I literally could not put this book down. I LOVED IT!

I found the “Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy” lifestyle absolutely fascinating…people really live like this?!?  Apparently so and the details behind it are so involved.  Who knew???  Clearly I need some more interesting friends…

The ONLY reason I’m not giving this gem 5 stars is because the last 75 pages or so didn’t capture my attention as much as the rest of the book did.  I still LOVED it and couldn’t stop reading but those last 75ish pages definitely weren’t the best part of this book.  I obviously wasn’t nearly as interested in learning the details of the murder as I was in learning the details of the Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy lifestyle!

Bottom Line:

READ THIS.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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!*

*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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Book Review: Such A Fun Age {Kiley Reid}

This was the book I was most excited to read in 2020 and had been waiting for MONTHS for it to be released.  There’s such a buzz around Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age right now and people seem to either love it or hate it.  Have you read it?  I did…and my review is a bit all over the place.  There were parts of this book that I loved and parts of this book that I did not.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

My Thoughts:

3.5 Stars

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

Man, my thoughts on this one are a bit all over the place.

First and foremost, this book brings awareness to such an important topic of equality.  It’s very candid in the way it discusses race.  Books like this NEED to be written and NEED to be shared.  I’m so glad I read it and I’m so glad that the buzz is focusing around a book which is such an important read for so many reasons.

There were a few things about this book that I didn’t love.  For one, I had a hard time truly liking ANY of the characters (especially Alix who I found creepy, extremely immature, and overall just awful from the very beginning). I also found this book quite predictable in many ways in terms of story lines…and I’m the WORST when it comes to correctly predicting story lines, lol.

(Complete side note…The teacher in me (I was an elementary school teacher for 14 years) has to wonder if Briar falls somewhere on the autism spectrum?   Did anyone else think this while reading???)

I liked this book and it held my interest from page one but…I just kept waiting for the big climax which unfortunately didn’t even happen until almost the end of the book!  I would say that he majority of this book was interesting although not very exciting.

It was a SUPER easy read, I read it over a few days.  Although it wasn’t very exciting, it absolutely held my interest from page 1.  I would 100 percent read another Kiley Reid book again, I really loved her writing style!  For such a heavy topic, this book was actually a light and easy read.  I give her credit…this alone will make people want to read this important book.

Told you my feelings on this book are a bit scattered 😉

Bottom Line:

I would recommend this book but only for the awareness that it brings to such an important topic….not for the actual story lines or characters.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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!*

*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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I was Wrong. So Very Wrong. This Book is AMAZING.

For a year and a half, I had less than zero desire to read this book.

The reviews were glowing, everyone kept recommending it to me, and yet…I was determined to read EVERYTHING else.

I even posted on Facebook and Instagram about this book telling people that I had absolutely no desire to ever read it and I just didn’t understand its popularity. Nope. Never reading this boring sounding book. Not for me.

Then I broke my toe and was in desperate need of a good book. I went to the library and nothing stood out to me. I so randomly saw one lone copy of this book on the shelf. I ignored it and kept searching. About 20 minutes later I went back to the shelf, grabbed it, and begrudgingly checked it out. There was simply nothing else!  I figured that if I was EVER going to read this book, this was the time…where I was literally forced to lay down and ice my toe for 20 minutes 3 times each day.

I came home, propped up my toe with ice, opened to page 1…and promptly and happily devoured every single page after that.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

1,000,000 stars

Oh this book. It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL.

One of the best books I’ve ever read (which if you are a faithful blog reader you realize that I’ve now discovered TWO of my all time favorites over the past 6 months! How amazing is that???)

I very literally could not put this book down. I found myself reading whenever I could spare a few minutes. I thought about it ALL the time (and still do). I theorized so much of what was going to happen in the end (I was waaaay off, lol).

This is such a special story from beginning to end. I can’t even begin to imagine how beautiful this movie will be! The movie rights have already been purchased but the release date hasn’t been announced yet…READ THE BOOK FIRST! I can promise that even if the movie will be amazing, there is just no way it can capture the depth of the book. I can already say with DEFINITE clarity that the book is better 🙂

When books are overly hyped I find myself either LOVING or HATING them but rarely are my feelings somewhere in the middle.  This book deserves every single bit of hype it has received.  Delia Owens wrote such a lovely story.  I smiled, I cried, I loved it all.

I do have 2 issues with this book:

1. The absolute biggest issue that I have with this book is how the synopsis on the cover is written. It sounds BORING. It’s not…it’s actually anything but. I’m not exactly sure how I would have written it differently but it just doesn’t do this book justice. If not for the hype surrounding this book there is NO way I would have picked this one up on my own. A big thank you to whomever gave this book a chance before it was popular and helped give it the popularity that it has so rightfully gained.

2. The imagery in this book is spectacular. The details used to describe even the tiniest of objects were amazing. There was only 1 thing not described well…the main character!!! For the first 1/3 of the book I pictured her with black skin until I finally Googled “What color is Kya’s skin in Where the Crawdads Sing?” because I was starting to think I was wrong. Sure enough…I (and apparently a whole lot of other people) was wrong! Once I got it in my head that her skin was white, I immediately pictured her as a shoulder length blond until they mentioned her long black hair about HALFWAY through the book. Ummm…what?! These details should have been solidified early on. Not to mention that I’m still not 100 percent sure I’m pronouncing her name correctly (I say it like Kaia which after another Google search I learned is also apparently how it’s pronounced in the audio version?? However, it’s supposed to be short for Catherine which makes makes me think that maybe it’s meant to be pronounced Ka?)

Even with these issues, I truly loved this story.  BEAUTIFUL!

It was so meant to be that there was that one random lone copy of this book on the library shelf.  This was the PERFECT book to help me though that first week with only 9 working toes!

This was the type of book where once I finished, I wasn’t emotionally ready to start reading another book right away…I LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!  When characters truly make their way into my heart, I have a hard time “leaving them”…does this happen to anyone else????

**As I was working on this post, I noticed that it’s on sale for only $9.59 on Amazon today for a HARDCOVER copy!  Amazing deal!  Amazon Affiliate link below…**

Bottom Line:

Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read.  If you haven’t read this one yet…it’s a MUST.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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!*

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