2 Books. Same Author. Loved 1. Didn’t Love The Other.

2 Books. Same Author. Loved 1. Didn’t Love The Other.

Didn’t buy. Should have bought.

I have a very love/hate relationship with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. One True Loves? Loved it (although for some reason I never reviewed it on here). Malibu Rising? LOVED it (review HERE). The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? Hated it (review HERE). So it comes at zero surprise that after listening to 2 of her older books as audiobooks, I loved one and didn’t love the other. Ugh.

**Before I get a million messages asking if I’ve read Daisy Jones and the Six, the answer is no. Nothing about the synopsis of that book appeals to me! I’ve heard it’s wonderful but I have absolutely no desire to read it.**

Book #1 (Loved): After I Do

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis of After I Do {Taylor Jenkins Reid}:

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

My Review of After I Do {Taylor Jenkins Reid}:

Omg I absolutely loved this book. It was so raw and so unfiltered! I definitely hugged my husband tighter after finishing this book. I was ALL IN while listening to this one as an audiobook and found myself listening whenever I had a few extra minutes. Such a perfect book to listen to as an audiobook.

I absolutely loved each character in this book!

That being said, there was one pretty major storyline that I found to be completely unrealistic. Other than that, this book is perfection 🙂

Why did it take me so many years to read this book??? Highly, highly recommend!

Bottom Line:

If you are married, read this book. And then go and hug your spouse.

Book #2 (Did Not Love): Maybe in Another LIfe

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis of Maybe in Another Life {Taylor Jenkins Reid}:

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

My Review of Maybe in Another Life {Taylor Jenkins Reid}:

What a horrible book to listen to as an audiobook. The entire book is comprised of 2 separate stories which alternate back and forth. Both stories have the same settings, characters, etc. IT. GOT. SO. CONFUSING. Maybe in print the distinction between the 2 stories would be more clear but as an audiobook…man, this book just didn’t work as an audiobook.

Because it was telling 2 completely separate stories at the exact same time, nothing really had a proper chance of being developed. Characters, storylines, etc. It all just felt so rushed and so predictable.

And…I hated the ending. Like…I HATED the ending.

Bottom Line:

Maybe this one is better as a book and not as an audiobook? Still wouldn’t change that awful ending, though…

Have you read either of these books? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Reminders of Him and Ugly Love {Colleen Hoover}

Reminders of Him and Ugly Love {Colleen Hoover}

I am either a HUGE Colleen Hoover (or as diehard booklovers all know her: CoHo) fan or…I’m lukewarm 😉

I’m not entirely sure why (maybe because this one is such a recent release?) but for some reason Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us is extremely popular right now…everyone is reading it! I read that book many, many years ago and I loved it. I still think about it! If you haven’t yet read that one, make sure you do. It’s so, so wonderful.

That being said, I wasn’t a huge fan of November 9. I read it years ago (possibly once I finished It Ends With Us?) and I was just so underwhelmed. Eh.

I’m dying to read Verity! I’ve heard it’s amazing. I’ve been on my library waitlist for the audiobook for awhile now and I’m not so patiently waiting.

When her newest book was released this past January, I was so cautiously optimistic about it as I had read some GREAT reviews. Hoping that I would love it as much as I loved It Ends With Us, I downloaded the audiobook of Reminders of Him and started listening…

{One of the biggest issues of listneing to books as audiobooks is that I can’t take pretty pictures of them for my blog!}

Photo Credit: Target.com

Goodreads Synopsis of Reminders of Him {Colleen Hoover}:

After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing. 

My Review of Reminders of Him {Colleen Hoover}

Ahhhh I loved this book so much! It’s a BEAUTIFULLY written story with deep, meaningful characters and an intricately woven plot. I listened to this one literally whenever I had an extra minute in my day because I couldn’t get enough. I never wanted it to end! Definitely read (or listen to) this book, it’s so amazing. Such a beautiful story.

Once I finished listening to Reminders of Him, I was NOT ready to move on to another author/genre. I wanted MORE! More CoHo, more love story. I downloaded Ugly Love about 20 minutes after I finished listening to Reminders of Him.

Photo Credit: Target.com

Goodreads Synopsis of Ugly Love {Colleen Hoover}:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.


They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly. 

My Review of Ugly Love {Colleen Hoover}:

I really, really liked it. I wouldn’t say that I LOVED it but I would say that it was very good. A bit cringy (is that a word?) at times with the way that Tate allowed for herself to be treated.

The story was good, the characters were…unlikable. All of them. Eh.

A few points to note:

The backstory of Miles was way more intriguing than the book’s present day story.

The audiobook’s male narrator was creepy and the way he pronounced the name “Rachel” made it sound like a stalker was describing her. Every. Single. Time.

I had a very strong prediction that turned out to be completely wrong. I must say…I think my ending would have been better.

Also, throughout the entire book I kept forgetting that Tate was a girl and not a boy because of her name. So there’s that.

Bottom Line

Very good. Not CoHo’s best but very good.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do you enjoy Colleen Hoover books? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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Book Review: The Wife Upstairs {Rachel Hawkins}

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins was on my to read list FOREVER. I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy to read and review!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Wife Upstairs {Rachel Hawkins}:

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?

My Review of The Wife Upstairs {Rachel Hawkins}:

This book is a “modern retelling of Jane Eyre”. I read the original Jane Eyre over 20 years ago so I really can’t speak to the similarities and differences between them. However, I CAN say that one book is clearly known as a true classic and this one…well…I REALLY do not foresee the same for this one.

I really just didn’t like this book.

It was all a bit of a mess for me. Different perspectives, flashbacks thrown in the middle of current storylines, characters so unlikeable that I found myself not caring enough about what happened to any of them.

It’s like the first 200 pages were told in tidbits of stories and only in the last 90 pages did any of them start to make sense. Which is fine, but…what a boring first 200 pages of reading a book and not completely understanding what was going on.

This book just lacked so much depth. Depth in stories, depth in character development, depth in all of it.

It was only 290 pages but it took me so much longer than it should have to read because I was just so bored! As I was nearing the end (yaaaay) around midnight, I found myself closing the book with 5 pages left to finish in the morning. Who puts a THRILLER down with only 5 pages left??? That right there should tell you how bored I was with these characters and storylines.

Plus, I absolutely hated the writing style. Nope, not for me.

This book DID have 2 things that I quite enjoyed. A major twist that I did NOT see coming and…the cover art. I liked the cover art. Aaaaand that’s about it. I didn’t like anything else.

Bottom Line

This book had been on my to read list for so many months. Such a disappointment. Ugh.

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

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A Wonderful Book! Review: The Mothers {Genevieve Gannon}

Book Review: The Mothers {Genevieve Gannon}

Goodreads Synopsis of The Mothers {Genevieve Gannon}:

Grace and Dan Arden are in their forties and have been on the IVF treadmill since the day they got married. Six attempts have yielded no results, and with each failure a little piece of their hope dies.

Priya Laghari and her husband Nick Archer are being treated at the same fertility clinic, and while they don’t face the same time pressure as the Ardens, the younger couple have their own problems.

On the same day that Priya is booked for her next IVF cycle, Grace goes in for her final, last-chance embryo transfer. Two weeks later, both women get their results.

A year on, angry and heartbroken, one of the women learns her embryo was implanted in the other’s uterus and must make a devastating choice: live a childless life knowing her son is being raised by strangers or seek custody of a baby who has been nurtured and loved by another couple.

My Review of The Mothers {Genevieve Gannon}:

As a mother, this book absolutely shredded me. My poor heart BROKE while reading…what an impossibly horrific story.

It made me think…what truly makes a mother? Biology? Environment? Both? Neither?

I personally did not go through the IVF process but I know plenty of women who did…and I can’t even imagine reading this book having gone through that process.

As I was reading, I couldn’t help but wonder how this book was going to end. All I will say is that the ending was PERFECTION. Quite possibly one of the best written endings to a book I’ve ever read.

I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons. It was SO well written, extremely thought provoking, and incredibly beautiful.

And can we talk about the STUNNING cover? Absolutely gorgeous!

Bottom Line:

This book is absolutely brilliant.

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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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:

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**READ THIS BOOK** Book Review: The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

I first saw KJ Dell’Antonia’s The Chicken Sisters when I browsing the shelves at the most amazing bookstore I’ve ever visited. I read the back cover on the book and immediately knew that I wanted to read and review it! Reality tv + small town+ family relationships??? Count me IN!

After I took the above picture, my kids each took a side of the wishbone and made a wish as they pulled it apart. My daughter won. My son cried. I digress….

Goodreads Synopsis of The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster.

In tiny Merinac, Kansas, Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state–and the legendary feud between their respective owners, the Moores and the Pogociellos, has lasted just as long. No one feels the impact more than thirty-five-year-old widow Amanda Moore, who grew up working for her mom at Mimi’s before scandalously marrying Frank Pogociello and changing sides to work at Frannie’s. Tired of being caught in the middle, Amanda sends an SOS to Food Wars, the reality TV restaurant competition that promises $100,000 to the winner. But in doing so, she launches both families out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. . .

The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda’s sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, Food Wars becomes her chance to step back into the limelight. Mae is certain she can make the fading Mimi’s look good–even if that pits her against Amanda and Frannie’s. With a greedy producer stoking the flames, their friendly rivalry quickly turns into a game of chicken. Yet when family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?

My Review of The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

I absolutely LOVED this book. From the very first page, I was alllllll in. I read this book slowly just to savor it, I truly didn’t want for it to end!

It is such a lovely and beautifully written book. Everything about this book is just wonderful! The character development, the complicated story lines, the small town atmosphere, and an added bonus…a behind scenes glimpse into the making of a reality tv show!

The Chicken Sisters was the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick last December…Excellent choice, Reese 🙂

The timing of my reading this book was so ironic. When we were on our southern vacation in December, my husband had his heart SET on eating delicious fried chicken while we were there. He insisted on us driving 30 minutes to a bordering state just to enjoy fried chicken from a tiny place with the word “shack” in it’s name (he had done extensive fried chicken research before we arrived and apparently this was THE PLACE). Him and our kids enjoyed their fried chicken and fries on a random bench outside of the restaurant with plastic utensils and a roll of paper towels. They all LOVED it and my husband declared that it was definitely worth the drive. This experience was a perfect reference for me as I was reading The Chicken Sisters! Exactly how I pictured Mimi’s!

***Side Note*** Fried chicken and fries aren’t my thing and I may or may not have brought my own lunch of a turkey sandwich and baked chips to enjoy on that bench…oh MAN would Mimi and Frannie have been disappointed in me! I’m so sorry Mimi and Frannie!

My favorite things about this book are the absolutely beautiful takeaways it left me with. Without giving away spoilers, I will just say that this book has so many beautiful lessons within these pages and so many lovely quotes that I wrote down from these characters.

Do you remember the post I wrote titled The Best Books I Read in 2020? I can already promise you that this book will be on my 2021 post.

Bottom Line

Absolutely loved every second of reading this lovely book. Highly recommend!

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!*

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2 Book Reviews: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda AND Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}

Thank you all SO MUCH for your amazing and supportive comments on my LAST POST 🙂 It has been such a fun time over these past 11 days and definitely continues to be such an awesome experience! A giant warm welcome to all of my new readers 🙂 I absolutely love sharing my blog with all of you and today, I have 2 book reviews to share! Becky Albertalli’s Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda has been on my to read list for YEARS. A few months ago, when Jenna from Jenna Stop Reading posted a giveaway containing Simon’s sequel, Leah on the Offbeat, I knew I had to enter! Once I won, it was exactly the push I needed to finally read Simon. I immediately put it on the wait list at my local library and I’m so glad that I did! (To see the other 3 books that I won in that giveaway, you can read about them HERE).

Book Review #1: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Goodreads Synopsis of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. 

My Review of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Oh I absolutely LOVED this book!

Becky Albertalli has such an awesome way of getting into the minds of a younger generation and writing from their point of view. The dialogue in this book felt like actual teenagers were speaking!

These characters were so wonderful and the rich storylines were so detailed.

And FUNNY. Becky Albertalli is so funny! I found myself smiling through so much of this book. I absolutely love the way that she writes! She must be such fun in real life 🙂

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such a beautiful, emotional, and powerful read which discusses such important topics.

This book was made into the movie Love, Simon which I haven’t seen. I did see the trailer, however and I have so many thoughts. In the 2 1/2 minutes…I already can spot 100 differences from the book. I actually have zero desire to see this movie because I can already tell that the differences will annoy me! Side note: seeing Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel play the roles of the PARENTS of the high schoolers just makes me feel old.

The movie trailer:

Have any of you seen the movie? I’d love to hear how it compares to the book. I WILL say that I like the movie title a WHOLE lot more than the book title…

There is also a tv spinoff currently available on Hulu called Love, Victor…have any of you watched? I have not.

Basically this book was everything I was so hoping that this other book that I read a few months ago was going to be.

Bottom Line:

Absolutely loved it.

Book Review #2: Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}:

I started to read Simon’s sequel Leah on the Offbeat immediately after I finished reading Simon. There are actually 3 books in this series but Leah is the sequel to Simon even though there is a book in between? Becky Albertalli’s website addresses this:

My first three books are part of the same universe, so if you want to experience the full story chronologically, you should read SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, then THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, then LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT. That said, The Upside of Unrequited takes place in a different setting, and can easily exist as a standalone story (meaning: it will make total sense if you read it on its own, and also, you do not need to read it to understand Leah On the Offbeat). You can read Leah On the Offbeat on its own, but I think you’ll get more out of it if you read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda first (or at least see Love, Simon)(but seriously, IMO, Leah is much more exciting if you read Simon Vs first).

Goodreads Synopsis of Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

My Review of Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertelli}:

So one of the very best things about Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the very reason that I had to STOP reading Leah on the Offbeat. Becky Albertalli has such a gift of getting into the heads of these teenage characters and truly writing as if she were a teenager. The way they think, the way they talk, the actions they take. It’s amazing!

HOWEVER…

Finishing Simon and starting Leah literally within the span of less than 1 hour was TOO MUCH time spent in the heads of teenagers and I just needed to get out, lol. I read about 120 pages and finally…this grown mother of 2 just needed a break from very literally being inside the minds of teenagers.

Becky Albertalli is AWESOME and truly has a gift for writing from the INSIDES of teenagers minds. It’s very hard to find a YA author that masters this the way that she does! Reading these books back to back was just a bit…too much teenager thought for me.

Would any of my local readers like my copy of Leah on the Offbeat? I can leave it on my front porch for you! If not, I will put it in my local Little Free Library.

Bottom Line:

This is truly a case of (most likely) good book, wrong time.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images below to order the books 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:

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

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5 Books To Read for Your Next Book Club {Volume 2}

About a year ago, I wrote a post called “5 Books for your Book Club” and I received such amazing feedback! You can read that original post HERE. Apparently lots of you found that post very helpful so I thought I would write a second edition! I still 100 percent stand by my original picks but here are a few more titles to add to your book club selections!

**I also still stand by my choice of not wanting to join a book club but I know that many of you love them! You can read why I’m personally anti-book club HERE. Although I have no desire to join a book club myself, I can absolutely see why other people feel differently. If you are in a book club, use these suggestions on books for your next meeting. If you are a solo reader like me, you can use these suggestions as books you can enjoy on your own 🙂 **

Each of the following books would be a perfect selection for your next book club. They are all VERY different but all are excellent, thought provoking, and would lead to such interesting discussions. Some I loved more than others but ALL would be perfect picks for interesting conversations.

5 Books To Read For Your Next Book Club:

Click the link below each book to read the synopsis and my (always spoiler free) review. Click the picture of each book cover 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

Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}

Read the book synopsis and my review of Last Couple Standing HERE.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo {Taylor Jenkins Reid}

Why am I recommending that you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for your book club when I didn’t even finish reading it myself??? Read the book synopsis and my explanation of that HERE.

The Family Upstairs {Lisa Jewell}

Read the book synopsis and my review of The Family Upstairs HERE.

American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}

Read the book synopsis and my review of American Dirt HERE.

My Dark Vanessa {Kate Elizabeth Russell}

Read the book synopsis and my review of My Dark Vanessa HERE.

Everyday Mindfulness Book Giveaway Winner Video:

Thank you to everyone who entered! You can read more about this wonderful book and my review of it HERE.

Have you read any of my book club selections? What book(s) would you recommend for a book club? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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:

*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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Book Review: The Party {Robyn Harding}

I love Robyn Harding so much. Her books are AWESOME. I’m not sure why it took me so long to read The Party but I’m so glad that I did! This book has been on my to read list for waaaaaay too long and I’m excited to share my review on the blog with you today!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Party {Robyn Harding}:

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the façade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other. 

My Review of The Party {Robyn Harding}:

Ahhhh I just love Robyn Harding!

The storylines in this book were COMPLICATED. Each character had such a rich and colorful background and I loved the different perspectives from which this story was told. The character development here was AWESOME. I’m not sure how there was enough space to properly and thoroughly describe each character AND still tell the present story but Robyn Harding absolutely succeeded.

The actual present day story made me angry and simultaneously broke my heart. The pain these characters endured (although much of the drama was self created) was heart wrenching. Reading this book as a mother made me feel angry and helpless. My kids are young…I can’t even imagine reading this book as a mother of an actual teenager, omg.

I was completely invested in this book from the very beginning and I loved the ending.

If you haven’t yet read a Robyn Harding book, here are links to my 2 favorites. Read my review of The Swap HERE (along with guest blogger Melissa Amster’s review) and The Arrangement HERE. I absolutely loved and highly recommend them both!

Bottom Line

Such a thought provoking, heartbreaking, and intriguing 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)*

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The 12 Best Books I Read in 2020 can be found HERE

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

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The Festive Christmas Book Tag

Book Coffee Happy was tagged in The Festive Christmas Book Tag by The Reading Addict. Thank you so much for the tag! Although I’m Jewish I ABSOLUTELY LOVE CHRISTMAS and actually have Christmas music playing as I type this 🙂 This was a fun tag to complete even if I didn’t quite understand one of the questions, lol…

The Festive Christmas Book Tag was originally created by ReadingGirl on YouTube, and you can check out her video here.

I feel like this post deserves a nice Christmasy picture inserted here but since I clearly don’t have one…here’s my menorah, lol:

The Festive Christmas Book Tag:

1) A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with?

The Quinns! Oh how I miss them this time each year. I loved Elin Hildrebrand’s Winter series so much (read more about this wonderful holiday themed series and my review of it HERE). If you haven’t yet read the Winter series, this is the very BEST time of the year to read them!

2) A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

My husband actually bought me the cutest bookish item last week! How awesome is this candle???

LOVE!

3) A fictional character you think would make a perfect Christmas elf?

Ok…Jewish girl here. Help! An elf like one who helps to make the toys? Or like the Elf on the Shelf who does naughty things? I don’t really get it. I’m over here picturing Will Ferrell? So clearly I’m not sure how to answer this question? Please someone educate this Jew…???

4) Match a book to its perfect Christmas song.

Hmmm. Well I would have to assume that Mallory and Jack from 28 Summers would agree that “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” would fit them perfectly. Read my review of 28 Summers HERE.

5) Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you’ve been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Truly one of the worst books I’ve ever read although somehow it WON The Goodreads Best Fiction Book of 2014?! Howwww?! I hated that book. I once wrote a blog post about it titled “One of the Worst Books I’ve Ever Read”. I got absolutely ripped apart on a Facebook book group for that post because it said such negative things and people got allll riled up saying that I shouldn’t have said them (insert eye roll here). I stand by my words…that was quite literally one of the very worst books I’ve ever read! Also, I will always give my honest opinion on the books that I read (and on everything else in life). You can read that (apparently) controversial blog post HERE.

6) A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserves to be put on the nice list?

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata! It’s such a quirky book but something about it totally sucked me in. I really loved that book! You can read it’s synopsis and my review HERE.

7) Red, Gold and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully christmasy feel to it.

How beautiful is this book cover???

I took this book from a Little Free Library last year and have yet to read it. Maybe this year? If you know me at all, you know that I could only read a book like this during the holiday season! If I don’t read this book this month…it will sit on my bookshelf until December 2021.

8) A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It’s so amazing! I LOVED IT. Everyone should read this book! Read it’s synopsis and my (glowing) review of it HERE. American Dirt was definitely included in my 12 Best Books I Read in 2020 list that I had posted earlier in the week. You can read that post and check out the other 11 books that I LOVED reading the most this year HERE.

I tag:

LaLa’s Book Reviews

A Little Book Problem

Cup of Tea With That Book, Please

Woman On The Edge Giveaway Winner Video:

Thank you all so much for entering this giveaway!

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

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:

*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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