4 Fantastic Books I Recently Bought

4 Fantastic Books I Recently Bought

Last week my family and I took the most lovely getaway to Galena, IL. You can see pictures from our beautiful trip HERE.

We had rented a house right on the water with a massive wrap around porch. The whole scene was just begging for someone to read a book there! I happily obliged 😉

I came home refreshed, relaxed, and of course with plenty of souvenirs. Somehow 4 new books came home with me!

Fantastic Book #1:

We spent one morning visiting Dubuque, IA and the very best part of that morning was visiting the most wonderful local bookstore. River Lights is such a charming bookstore and the beautiful lady working and I had the most lovely conversation discussing books. When we left she told me that she enjoyed our visit…so did I 🙂 If you are ever in the area, I HIGHLY recommend visiting this charming bookstore!

Dead body in front of the thriller section!

When I spotted Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years on the shelf, I knew that I wanted to purchase it…I absolutely love supporting independent bookstores, especially one as wonderful as this.

This book has been on my TBR list for what feels like forever. I started reading it on our last night of our amazing trip and I finished it a few days ago. I’ll have my review posted for you soon!

How stunning is this cover?

In Five Years {Rebecca Serle}

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.

Fantastic Book #2:

When I see a sign like this…I get very, very excited.

Obviously I knew I had to visit and that amazing store did not disappoint! I could have spent hours in that store, omg.

So many rooms and so many nooks all covered in books! A dream!

I had posted this on Instagram:

I saw Primates of Park Avenue on the shelf and I was reminded that I had wanted to read it when it first came out. It reminds me of The Nanny Diaries which I LOVED when I read it almost 20 (!!!) years ago! I’m a bit nervous because I usually HATE reading memoirs (even if they ARE written by Michelle Obama. You can see my thoughts on her book HERE) but…I do think this one sounds great???

Primates of Park Avenue {Wednesday Martin}

Goodreads Synopsis of Primates of Park Avenue {Wednesday Martin}:

Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe.

After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place. She understood the other mothers’ snobbiness at school drop-off when she compared them to olive baboons. Her obsessional quest for a Hermes Birkin handbag made sense when she realized other females wielded them to establish dominance in their troop. And so she analyzed tribal migration patterns, display rituals, physical adornment, mutilation, mating practices, extra-pair copulation, and more. Her conclusions are smart, thought-provoking, and hilariously unexpected.

Every city has its Upper East Side, and in Wednesday’s memoir, readers everywhere will recognize the strange cultural codes of powerful social hierarchies and the compelling desire to climb them. They will also see that Upper East Side mothers want the same things for their children that all mothers want: safety, happiness, and success;and not even sky-high penthouses and chauffeured SUVs can protect this ecologically released tribe from the universal experiences of anxiety and loss. When Wednesday’s life turns upside down, she learns how deep the bonds of female friendship really are.

Intelligent, funny, and heartfelt, Primates of Park Avenue lifts a veil on a secret, elite world within a world: the exotic, fascinating, and strangely familiar culture of privileged Manhattan motherhood.
 

Fantastic Book #3:

Driving home from Galena, we stopped in Rockford, IL for lunch and my husband suddenly spotted the MECCA.

He immediately turned into the parking lot, dropped me off, and took the kids for dessert so I could have time to browse all by myself. HELL YES. It was AWESOME in there. I must get back there asap!

One of my favorite Bookstagrammers/bloggers, Jenna Stop Reading, absolutely LOVES this book and has convinced me that I need to read it. I LOVED Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young so I’m excited to read this one (if you haven’t read Young Jane Young, you must! HERE is a link to it’s synopsis and my review….one of the very first blog posts I ever wrote!)

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry {Gabrielle Zevin}

Goodreads Synopsis of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry {Gabrielle Ziven}:

As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

We are not quite novels.

We are not quite short stories.

In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. 

Fantastic Book #4:

While at the Half Price Books Outlet, I randomly came across this book on the clearance shelf. I had never heard of it but think it sounds great! And it was $1.00 so…

Lost and Found {Carolyn Parkhurst}

Goodreads Synopsis of Lost and Found {Carolyn Parkhurst}:

A gentle satire on reality TV, as a mother and daughter face numerous challenges both on and off the show. As the game escalates, tensions mount, temptations beckon, and the bonds between teammates begin to fray. The question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost?

What do a suburban mom and her troubled daughter, two recently divorced brothers, a pair of former child stars, born-again Christian newlyweds, and a couple of young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, a daring new reality TV show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe – from Egypt to Japan, from Sweden to England – to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play.

What starts as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. Before long the question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.

Have you read any of these 4 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 link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, X
o




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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:

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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

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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!*

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

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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:

*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

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Why Parachutes By Kelly Yang Was Wonderful {Book Review}

Kelly Yang’s Parachutes had been on my radar for months ever since it’s release in May. I was excited when my copy arrived at my library and I started reading immediately (after first Clorox wiping it down and then letting it dry. Pandemics are weird).

Goodreads Synopsis of Parachutes {Kelly Yang}:

Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma.

They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate-team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. When her debate coach starts working with her privately, Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course.

Desperately trying to avoid each other under the same roof, Dani and Claire find themselves on a collision course, intertwining in deeper and more complicated ways, as they grapple with life-altering experiences. Award-winning author Kelly Yang weaves together an unforgettable modern immigrant story about love, trauma, family, corruption, and the power of speaking out.

My Book Review of Parachutes {Kelly Yang}:

I really, really loved this book.

This is the kind of book where if I had an entire day to myself I could have EASILY read this entire book in 1 sitting.

476 pages absolutely flew by! The interesting and extremely complex story lines, the characters, all of it.

Short chapters are my absolute FAVORITE…whyyyyy do authors write long chapters???? This book had 85 (!) chapters, each just a few pages long. I absolutely LOVE this and wish every book could be written like this! The BEST!

After I closed the back cover, I sat in silence to reflect upon this book. So much to think about and so many viewpoints to consider.

What a special book! It explores SO many relative and important topics and issues….the specifics of which I will not be discussing (see THIS POST for details as to why).

Highly recommend!

This book should absolutely be required reading for all high schoolers. So much that teenagers (and adults) would learn from reading this wonderful book.

Bottom Line:

If you are a fan of YA, this book should absolutely be on your to read list.

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!*

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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: Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}

I randomly saw A.R.Torre’s Every Last Secret on the shelf at the library a few weeks ago and the synopsis immediately had me wanting more! I was so excited to read this book and review it!

Goodreads Synopsis of Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}:

Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.

My Review of Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}:

This book was GOOD…but lacked being GREAT. Predictable? Yes. Great? No.

The synopsis SOUNDS so great, right???

I just kept waiting and waiting for something to grab my attention and would suddenly turn all of my opinions around. Unfortunately that moment never came.

I can’t remember the last time I read a book where I didn’t like ANY of the characters! Each character in this book was so completely unlikable. I think that is what made this story feel like it was dragging at times. When there is nobody to root for… you don’t really care what happens to anyone, am I right?

I had to write this review immediately after I closed the back cover because I knew that if I waited even a few days…I would completely forget everything. That’s how detached from this story I was. When you finish a book, you want the characters in the story lines to stay with you for many years to come! These characters and storylines might stay with me for 2 days max. Speaking of covers, I could be wrong…but I’m pretty sure that the scene on the front cover never even happened in this story. Like, ever. I kept waiting! What???

Also, infidelity is disgusting and at times this book felt like a step by step how to guide on stealing someone’s husband. Gross.

Bottom Line

Eh.

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

Xo,

Jenny

Clearly I’m not a big fan of this book…but you just might be, lol. 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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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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Let’s Chat: Do You Read the Book Synopsis Before You Read the Book?

When I first started writing my blog, I regularly posted a series called “Let’s Chat” where I would bring up a discussion topic and then share my thoughts and feelings on it. Those posts always brought upon such wonderful discussions! It has been a VERY long time since I have written one of these posts! So today, I’m bringing back the Book Coffee Happy old school “Let’s Chat” with this discussion topic: Do you read the book synopsis before you read the book?

***I regularly use the term “book synopsis” on my blog to describe the brief description of what the book is about (what you would read on the back or inside cover of the book). Other terms that describe this same description which I don’t use can include “book blurb”, “book description”, etc. All of these terms are a bit subjective and interchangeable! It’s important to note that the synopsis that I am referring to is NOT a complete book summary which would include all major points in the book including the ending. ***

Do You Read the Book Synopsis BEFORE You Read the Book?

A few weeks ago, one of my very favorite Bookstagrammers Jenna Stop Reading mentioned not reading the book synopsis before reading a book and it got me thinking…I could NEVER do that!

This is quite a debatable topic in the book blogger world. Apparently some people prefer to read the book going into it completely blind as to what the book is going to be about while others (ME) absolutely, 100 percent read the synopsis on the back or inside cover EACH AND EVERY TIME.

I have no idea how someone could read a book without knowing what the book is going to be about! Like…how do you very literally just choose the book by it’s cover??? Mind. BLOWN.

The very first things I look at while choosing a book off the shelf is the front cover, the title, and the author’s name. Absolutely all important…BUT…then I immediately read the synopsis! There have been PLENTY of times where I pick up a book, I think it looks great aaaaaaaaand then I read the synopsis and I put it right back down. How does one go into that so blindly? (I did once write an entire post called “Judging Books by Their Covers”! You can read that post HERE).

Not only do I read the synopsis before deciding what the book is going to be about but I actually read it quite a few times to familiarize myself with the characters and overall story lines.

I also tend to go and read it a few MORE times WHILE reading the book as a reference as to the characters and story lines.

Now there IS a very fine line between reading the book synopsis and learning a potential spoiler. I HATE SPOILERS. Hate, hate, hate (which is why I will NEVER have any book spoilers here on my blog). You can read more about my hatred for spoilers HERE.

Remember a few weeks ago when I was reading Simon Vs The Homosapien Agenda and I was planning on reading it’s sequal without knowing what it was about? I do think that’s a special circumstance as I was afraid if I read the synopsis to the sequel that it would give away spoilers from the original! HOWEVER, as soon as I finished reading Simon, the very first thing I did before reading it’s sequel was to read it’s synopsis! (You can read my review of those 2 books HERE).

When I hear of a book and want to look up the synopsis online the ONLY website that I will do this on is Goodreads. I have found that other websites (I’m looking at you, Amazon!) tend to reveal TOO much of the book description for my liking. Goodreads always shares juuuuuust enough about the book to let me know what it’s about without revealing too much. (FYI this is why I always only share the synopsis from Goodreads on Book Coffee Happy when I write my book reviews :))

So tell me…do you read the book synopsis before reading the book or do you like going in completely blind as to what the book will be about?

Other Book Coffee Happy “Let’s Chat” posts:

Let’s Chat: Tablet Vs Book Vs Audiobook?

Let’s Chat: When Your Opinion Is The Unpopular One

Let’s Chat: I’m A Monster. Anyone Else?

Let’s Chat: Read the Book First or Watch the Movie First?

Let’s Chat: Spoilers. Love Knowing or Better Blind?

Let’s Chat: Is Reading a Social Hobby?

Let’s Chat: Book Clubs…Yay or Nay?

Let’s Chat: How Long Until You Officially Abandon A Book?

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)*

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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 I’m Currently Reading, Book I Recently Read, What Book I Think I’ll Read Next (#20)

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW! The Three Ws: What book are you currently reading? What book did you recently finish reading? What book 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!

What Book Are You Currently Reading?

The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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?

I started reading this book over the weekend and I had posted the following on Facebook:

I will post a full review once I finish reading!

What Book Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.

I will have my full review of this book posted on Monday!

What Book Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Local Woman Missing {Mary Kubica}

Synopsis from Goodreads:

People don’t just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried. 

Yessssssss I can’t WAIT to read this book! The fact that it’s not even being officially released until May is just icing on the cake. I absolutely LOVE Mary Kubica and her newest book sounds so amazing! I will be jointly reviewing this book alongside the wonderful Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central…can’t wait!

Have you read (or plan to read) any of these 3 books? What did you think (no spoilers)? What are you currently reading? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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

**Local Girl Missing isn’t yet available to preorder on Amazon**

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*

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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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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:

*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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