Book Review: Playing Nice {JP Delaney}

So this is a perfect example of why sometimes you just need to browse the library shelves in person. I had never heard of JP Delaney’s Playing Nice, knew absolutely nothing about it, randomly saw it on a shelf at the library, read the back cover….and immediately knew I had to read and review this book. The synopsis GRABBED me!

Goodreads Synopsis of Playing Nice {JP Delaney}:

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s son, Theo, isn’t actually his son–he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they’ve been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents–or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts’ glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.

They are done playing nice.

My Review of Playing Nice {JP Delaney}:

This book is GREAT. Omg it’s AWESOME.

Short chapters are my favorite and this book is wonderfully filled with 112 of them. Some a few pages in length, many less than 1 page. THE BEST! I wish every book could be written like this. I truly couldn’t put it down!

This story is INTENSE…it’s completely unfathomable to me how something like this could actually happen. It’s such a thought provoking scenario and truly a parent’s absolute worst nightmare. Omg.

Pro Tip: Make sure you have a nice quiet spot where you can devour the last 50ish pages because there is no way you will be able to stop reading at at point. SO. GOOD.

And yet again… I had about a million predictions and absolutely zero of them turned out to be correct. LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!

Bottom Line:

Read this book. It’s fantastic.

HERE is another example of a random book that I found on the library bookshelf that tuned out to be GREAT!

Have you read this book? What unknown books have you stumbled upon which turned out to be awesome? 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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Book Review: The Loyal Wife {Natalie Barelli}

On our first 2020 trip to Michigan, you might remember that I found the most wonderful used bookstore. I could have spent HOURS in that store! I didn’t have much time that day to browse, but I did have time to find 1 book that I thought sounded great. I had read Natalie Barelli’s The Housekeeper earlier this year (you can read my review HERE) and was happy to find The Loyal Wife sitting on a shelf! **Random fact: My review of The Housekeeper continues to be one of the highest viewed blog posts I’ve ever written and I’m not entirely sure why, lol???** ANYWAY, I was so excited to discover another Natalie Barelli book and to read and review it on the blog.

The cover promises “a gripping psychological thriller with a twist”….Ummm YES please!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Loyal Wife {Natalie Barelli}:

She thought they had the perfect marriage…

Tamra never dreamed she would marry someone like Mike Mitchell: handsome, rich, a wonderful husband… until she finds out that Mike is having an affair.

But Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Mike Mitchell should have remembered that before he made a fool of her.

Because Tamra knows something about Mike. Something he did. Something evil. And she was prepared to carry the secret to her grave.

Not anymore.

To make matters worse, Mike’s daughter Madison has come to visit for a few days, and Madison doesn’t like Tamra. Well, that’s too bad, because Tamra doesn’t have time to argue. She’s too busy ruining Mike’s life while remaining, on the surface at least, the perfect, loyal wife.

But when Tamra’s plan spirals out of control, she finds that things are not what they seem.

And now, it’s too late. 

My Thoughts on The Loyal Wife {Natalie Barelli}:

Do you remember a few months back when I was trying to figure out The Great WordPress Disaster (aka Block Format)?  It took me weeks to understand it enough to be able to once again write and upload blog posts, it was so frustrating.  Something else that was frustrating during that time was that I was reading LOTS of books and therefore am STILL behind on uploading my reviews to my blog from those few weeks!  Grrrr…..

The Loyal Wife is one of the books that I was reading during that stupid, crazy time. I was so excited to read it!

So here’s the thing. It wasn’t THAT long ago and yet…I can’t really remember anything about this book, this storyline, or these characters. Not great for a book review blogger, huh?!?

I remember thinking that I LIKED this book but I didn’t LOVE this book. I also remember thinking that parts were a bit too predictable.

There are books that I read YEARS ago which have left such an impression on me that I can easily tell you details on characters, storylines, etc. A few examples would be THIS BOOK, THIS BOOK, and THIS BOOK. Clearly The Loyal Wife will not be on that list for me. The storylines and characters clearly weren’t significant enough to stick with me even just a few months later. Eh.

Bottom Line:

I’m happy that I purchased this book from a used bookstore because supporting small businesses is SO important. As for the book itself…eh…clearly not my best purchase 😉

If any local friends would like my copy, I can leave it on my front porch for you! Free to a good home 🙂 First come, first served! Maybe you’ll love it (and will remember it) more than I did?

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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Book Review: If I Was Your Girl {Meredith Russo}

My cousin texted me asking if I had yet read If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo because she LOVED it (side note…follow my cousin on Instagram HERE! She’s beautiful and wonderful and awesome). After reading the book synopsis, I immediately went to put it on hold at my library and was pleasantly surprised that they had a copy in stock! Perfect.

Goodreads Synopsis of If I Was Your Girl {Meredith Russo}:

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

My Review of If I Was Your Girl {Meredith Russo}:

I absolutely love the plot idea of this YA book. Such an important topic and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m automatically a fan of ANY book which brings awareness to important topics.

(Throwback to the beautiful weather when I was reading this book a few weeks ago. Today it’s cold, raining, and I had the heat running in my car.)

However, as much as I loved the IDEA of this book, I didn’t love it’s execution…

This story goes back and forth between the present and the past which I normally love but this time it just made the story feel so disjointed. I understand that it wasn’t supposed to follow a sequential order but it was a bit too “bouncy” for me. Present day to 11 years ago to 3 years ago to 5 years ago, etc.

I also wish there was more character development. Other than Grant, I felt that each character was given such a small amount of any kind of development and as a result I kept interchanging them as I was reading (especially Amanda’s friends).

Without giving away spoilers, I will say that there was one MAJOR story line that I completely disagreed with throughout the entire book which clouded my thoughts on just about everything else…??

Random positive side note: This is one of the only books where I actually appreciated having the photo of a real person on the cover! I usually HATE when books have that as my imagination NEVER matches the photo on the front. This time, however, I appreciated having the beautiful picture on the cover as it gave me reference as to how Amanda looked. I think this gorgeous model was the perfect representation. I also appreciated how she was given a shout out in the author’s note at the end!

Bottom Line:

Loved the story, loved the beautiful cover, didn’t love the writing.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts 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

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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: Scars Like Wings {Erin Stewart}

I love, love, love reading YA (young adult fiction). Some of the best books I’ve ever read have been YA (HERE is a link to one of my very favorites). When a dear friend of mine told me about Erin Stewart’s book, Scars Like Wings, I knew it was a YA book that I needed to read.

Synopsis from Goodreads of Scars Like Wings {Erin Stewart}:

Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.

A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.

But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.

My Thoughts on Scars Like Wings {Erin Stewart}:

Omg this book. It’s a BEAUTIFUL book. I sobbed, I smiled, I LOVED IT. Such a beautifully written story. It shattered my heart and filled my heart all at the exact same time.

This book is HEAVY, definitely not a light read. However, Erin Stewart took such heaviness and perfectly paired it with moments that made me smile through my tears.

There are so many messages that this book delivers and every single one of them spoke directly to my heart. Acceptance, devotion, love, and strength are the most prevalent themes which stuck out the most to me as I was reading.

I finished reading a few days ago and have not stopped thinking of these characters and story lines since. This book has truly touched my heart.

What a stunning debut novel from this author. I can’t wait to read more!

Bottom Line:

Read this. Have Kleenex.

Have you read this book? 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!*

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I Bought a Book!

Throughout this quarantine, I have been reading my way though a huge stack of library books that I had checked out before the Illinois shelter in place began, books on my bookshelf that I hadn’t yet read, and books borrowed from my dear friends. If you have been following me for any length of time, you know that I am completely obsessed with my local library.  I absolutely love checking out library books and VERY rarely purchase books on my own.  However, with our local library currently being closed and with no plans of reopening any time soon (insert sobbing emoji here)…I finally bought myself a brand new, beautiful book!

On Monday, I posted the following on Facebook:

That post received SO MANY great responses and some AMAZING book suggestions!  I just love the Book Coffee Happy reader community so very much. 🙂  Some of your  suggestions were books that I’ve read (and LOVED) and others were new to me titles.  I read every single one of your comments and looked up the synopsis of every single book mentioned.  I’m VERY happy to report that my To Read list has grown thanks to that post!  Some of the books mentioned by you guys sound AMAZING.  I love, love, love book discussions.  Thank you so much to those of you who commented!  If you haven’t read that post or it’s amazing comments, you can follow my Facebook page HERE.

I gave my decision as to which book I was going to buy lots of thought.  Being the president of my daughter’s school’s PTO has been hard work…and receiving this gift card as a thank you touched my heart.  I needed to spend it wisely!  Although a few of those Facebook post suggestions reaaaaaaally got me thinking…I ultimately decided on a book that wasn’t even mentioned by any of you in that post.

I Bought A Book!

The book that I bought is a book I have been dying to read for MONTHS AND MONTHS…even before it’s release.  I’ve been on my library’s wait list forever (before the book was even released) and my name isn’t even coming close to the top (especially now, lol).  Every time I would walk into the library, I would desperately check the new release shelf in hopes of it randomly being there but it never was.  The good news is that if you are on the wait list at my local library…your name just got moved up 1 spot 🙂

I initially thought of buying this book but then decided to see if any of your suggestions would sway me into thinking that maybe I should spend my gift card on a different title instead.

So after much thought (the minimalist in me does NOT take purchases like this lightly), I ultimately went on Amazon and thanks to Prime…it arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.

Here are some clues about this book:

  • It was published in February 2020…a brand new release!
  • It’s listed genres include: mystery, thriller, horror, fiction, and suspense.
  • This is the 7th book written by this author but the first one I’ve ever read.
  • The reviews on this book are INSANE….like….everyone loves it.  I searched and searched and couldn’t find a negative review!  People are LOVING this book which clearly explains why I couldn’t get my hands on a library copy.

Any guesses???

As a fun follow up to yesterday’s post where I was burning a Christmas scented candle, here is the candle currently burning next to me as I type.  Quarantine life has taught me not to wait for the correct time to burn the seasonal candles….there are no seasons in quarantine!  Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Off to rip open this Amazon box and wipe down my brand new book with these disinfecting wipes so I can start reading ASAP!

What book do you think I bought???  I’d love to hear your guesses 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:

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