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

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1 Book I Started and Stopped at Page 50 and 1 Book I Started and WANTED to Stop at Page 50

Sitting outside and drinking Dunkin! Spring is COMING!

This has not been the best week of reading for me. I started reading a book and didn’t finish…and then I started another book and didn’t WANT to finish but I decided to keep going.

The Book That I Stopped Reading at Page 50

After the poll that I had posted on Instagram asking if my next read should be Invisible Girl or The Last Flight, I started reading Lisa Jewell’s Invisible Girl. I’ve previously read 2 of Lisa Jewell’s books…1 that I LOVED (READ THAT BOOK) and 1 that I didn’t.

Goodreads Synopsis of Invisible Girl {Lisa Jewell}:

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

Why I Stopped Reading Invisible Girl {Lisa Jewell}:

Invisible Girl just didn’t grab me from the beginning. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t poorly written, it was just…eh? I really do think it would have gotten much better the more I kept reading but unfortunately I just wasn’t willing to stick around to find out.

I once write an entire blog post called How Long Until You Officially Abandon A Book? In that post, I said that I always read the first 100 pages of a book before putting it down. Sometimes I break my own rule…I made it about 50ish pages before I decided that I was going to move on.

***Side Note*** I absolutely HATE starting books and not finishing them but do you know what I hate even more? Doing something for fun that isn’t feeling fun. Reading is one of my most favorite hobbies….why would I want to spend time doing one of my favorite hobbies while not enjoying myself? Long gone are the days of required reading for school (although I LOVED the days of required reading for school) and now that I am a proper adult, I choose what to read…and what not to read!

The Book That I WANTED To Stop Reading at Page 50…But Didn’t!

Once I decided to move on, I browsed through my stack of books waiting to be read and decided on this book.

I bought Ghosted from the ADORABLE used book store on a trip to Michigan that I talked about in THIS POST.

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. 

So I started reading….aaaaaaaaand wasn’t so impressed. The storylines and complete lack of background knowledge were super confusing and frankly, quite boring. I had even posted this on Facebook:

I searched through other blogger reviews and there seemed to be a common theme with this book: it starts off slowly but eventually turns amazing???

So I kept reading. I’m now on page 150ish and I will say…it’s definitely getting better! Not amazing by any means (yet? I’m optimistic that it’s going to turn around like everyone says that it will) but better than those first few pages. Eh. I’m sticking with it mainly because I own it! If this were a library book, I’m confident that I would have returned it before I even got to page 50. I will say that I already have SO MANY THOUGHTS on this book, I will post my full review once I finish reading.

Have you read either of these books? 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 these links, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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How I Became A Library Hero

How fun is this?!? I’m officially a Library Hero! Here is how I became one 🙂

It’s meeeee!

Back in early October, I randomly received the following email from my wonderful local library :

I responded that I was IN! How fun!

Library Hero

And then at the end of January, my friend Allison texted me a screenshot of an email that she had received from the library…with my picture on it! Turns out, this email was sent to 21,000 people!

Next thing I knew I was featured on their Facebook page…

…and Twitter…

…and Instagram!

My family and I visited gorgeous Indian Trails this past weekend and my kids thought it was so cool that THIS is what greeted us riiiiiiiiight as soon as we walked in the front door!

#noautographsplease
The words written underneath my gigantic picture!
My kids hangin’ with Mama!

As we walked through the library, we kept being greeted by my picture! My son literally pointed and yelled, “Moms on the screen! Moms on the screen!”

On your way to the first floor bathroom? Stop by and say hello!
Have a question for Adult Services on the upper level? Wave hello to me when you are there!

I’m so honored to be the face of this important campaign for one of my most favorite places. How fun is all of this?!

WEAR YOUR MASK, EVERYONE!

My dear friend (and fellow book lover) Megan texted me this:

If you go to Indian Trails, text or email me (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) a selfie with my poster! I’ll put it on my blog, lol 🙂

Thank you, Indian Trails, for reaching out to ask me to be a part of this! I would love to do it again for you in the future….next time I promise to wear makeup and properly style my hair, lol 😉

Between this and one of my blog posts going viral back in January, I’m feeling quite fancy over here! I should probably start holding interviews for bodyguards, limo drivers, publicists, etc…

And speaking of Indian Trails, I’m so excited about their new App which has now officially launched! You can find it in the Google Play Store and in the Apple Store (search Indian Trails Public Library). You KNOW I got mine all set up immediately! It’s GREAT and very user friendly!

I hope you are having a lovely day! Don’t forget to WEAR YOUR MASK!

Xo,

Your Favorite Library Hero 🙂

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Let’s Chat: Trigger Warnings and Why I Hate Them

According to an online dictionary, a “Trigger Warning” is defined as: A Statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc. alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content)

Thankfully I don’t have any topics that are a true “trigger” for me. There are definitely topics that I REALLY, REALLY don’t like reading about…child abuse, child abduction, animal abuse, death of a parent, death of a child, death of a spouse, terminal illness, etc.

I can see how people would most definitely appreciate a warning before they willingly expose themselves to reading something potentially triggering. I would imagine this would especially ring true if they can make those connections in their own life which might make the book feel exceptionally “real”. I completely understand how people could feel like that! However I….

actually really hate trigger warnings.

If you have been a reader of mine for any length of time you know my absolute DETEST for spoilers and often I find trigger warnings to be huge spoilers for me! For example…let’s take the book that I am currently reading:

This is the very first page of the book:

So now I’m reading this book knowing that at any moment someone is about to get sexually assaulted. It has taken my focus away from other story lines and has turned each character into a potential assaulter. Every time a new character is introduced, I immediately wonder if he/she will eventually turn into a rapist! I wish I knew nothing about this part of the book before reading.

My favorite tv show EVER actually had a trigger warning at the very beginning of the episode last week. I found this so strange because if you watch Shameless, you know that EVERY episode contains MULTIPLE potential triggers! I wonder why last week was the first time viewers were “warned”…???

Looking back, I’m wondering if Tampa by Alissa Nutting has any trigger warnings listed at the beginning? That book was HANDS DOWN the most disturbing book I have ever read and although I wouldn’t have wanted to read the triggers ahead of time, I can absolutely see how others would. You can read the synopsis and my review of that vile book HERE.

I feel fortunate that I don’t have any true “triggers”. That said, I can fully appreciate that other people do. What could constitute a “spoiler” for me could be so much more for someone with a true “trigger” and even just reading about a triggering event could be catastrophic for them.

I wish there was a way where people who appreciate trigger warnings could be privy to them and those people who don’t want to know ahead of time…wouldn’t have to??

This is exactly why I never include trigger warnings on any of my reviews (except for Parachutes….it’s literally written on the very first page of the book). I respect other reviewers/bloggers who choose to include these trigger warnings in their reviews but I personally dislike reading reviews which include them if I haven’t yet read the book.

I know my thoughts on this most definitely have the potential to be highly unpopular and that’s totally ok! I’d love to hear your (respectful) thoughts on both sides of this.

Do you appreciate trigger warnings or would you rather read the book (or watch the movie/tv show, etc.) without them? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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

Xo,

Jenny

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?

Let’s Chat: Do You Read the Book Synopsis Before You Read the Book?

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:

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Book I’m Currently Reading, Coffee I’m Currently Drinking, 1 Thing Currently Making Me Happy (#5)

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

Book I’m Currently Reading:

Local Woman Missing {Mary Kubica}

Goodreads Synopsis of Local Woman Missing {Mary Kubica}:

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…

Before I fell asleep a few nights ago, I decided to pick up this book and read the first few pages….and SEVENTY pages later I turned off my booklight! I. COULD. NOT. STOP. READING.

I actually just finished this book over the weekend and all I can say is WOW.

I can’t wait to review this one alongside Melissa Amster of Chick Lit Central as it gets closer to the book’s release date (I was fortunate enough to receive an Advance Readers Copy….it doesn’t release until May). Stay tuned!

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

14 years ago Jon and I took a trip to New York and visited the site of my ALL TIME favorite movie, Serendipity (for more about that trip and to see pictures of us there, check out THIS POST). I bought a coffee mug as a souvenir that day and have had it beautifully displayed in a cabinet in our dining room ever since.

A few days ago, I looked at my beautiful souvenir and thought…why have I been STARING at this gorgeous coffee mug for 14 years when I could actually be USING it??? Like so many things in life, if you aren’t using it what’s the point in even having it?!? I opened the doors to our display and promptly put my beautiful mug straight into the dishwasher. Once it was clean, my beautiful mug was filled with coffee for the very first time ever!

I swear this mug makes my coffee taste even more delicious.

It’s a gigantic mug with gorgeous pictures on all sides. Printed along the bottom states the definition of serendipity: The art of making happy discoveries, or finding the unexpectedly pleasant by chance or sagacity

So, so beautiful.

Aaaaand my children think it’s hilarious that Mommy has been drinking from a mug with naked people on it…turns out this mug is making EVERYONE smile over here, lol…

Even the very bottom of the mug is amazing:

Public Service Announcement: If you haven’t seen the movie Serendipity, WATCH THE MOVIE SERENDIPITY. My best friend Amy and I saw it 10 times while it was in still in theaters! Such a special movie that will forever hold a special place in my heart 🙂

Currently Making Me Happy:

SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!

Chicagoland has been hit with a ridiculous amount of snow recently and I am HERE FOR IT! I have been snow obsessed throughout my entire life and I am absolutely LOVING all of this snow. As I’m typing this, the forecast is anticipating another 8-13 inches TONIGHT! Hell yes! Bring. It. ON.

***It’s worth noting that I may possibly be the one and only adult in all of the Chicagoland area who is happy about all of this snow. My Facebook newsfeed is currently filled with complaints and memes about how awful it is and I’m over here all, “IT’S SNOOOOOOOOOOWING!!!!!!!!”

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you HAPPY?

Is it snowing where you live? How do you feel about it?

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

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Book Review: Before I Let You Go {Kelly Rimmer}

If you follow Book Coffee Happy on Facebook you know that I often ask my followers to share what they are reading. I love reading the comments on those posts and seeing how everyone interacts with each other to discover new books to read. The book community is so amazing! When I asked for everyone to share a few weeks ago, my dear friend Julie commented that she was reading Kelly Rimmer’s Before I Let You Go. As soon as I Googled the synopsis, I immediately knew that this was a book I wanted to read and review on the blog…it sounded SO GOOD. When the library called the day before we were leaving for our trip to Tennessee, I took that as a sign that this should be my vacation read. Who knew that I would eventually be stuck on that mountain with little food, no power, and our car in a ditch??? Yup if you missed that crazy story, you can read all about our trip HERE! 1 thing that I DID have up on that crazy mountain with me was a good book 🙂

Goodreads Synopsis of Before I Let You Go {Kelly Rimmer}:

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

My Review of Before I Let You Go {Kelly Rimmer}:

Oh this is such a beautifully written book.

I read this entire book while on my vacation in Tennessee. Couldn’t put it down!

This isn’t the usual type of book I read but I’m so glad I did. This is such a complicated topic and one that I’ll admit I’ve never given much thought to. This book really opened my eyes and gave me so much to think about.

Before I Let You Go tugged at my heart and I found myself crying at many points throughout. It was heartbreaking, beautiful, and SO wonderfully written. It was HEAVY, not a light read by any means…but it was so wonderfully written.

This is the first Kelly Rimmer book that I’ve read and I’ve already added 3 of her other books to my list to read. I absolutely love her beautiful and descriptive writing style! I’m already a huge fan and I’ve only read 1 of her books!

I finished reading this beautiful book over a week and a half ago and there hasn’t been a single day since where I haven’t thought of these characters and reflected upon their stories. Their characters and their stories will stay with me for a long, long time.

I highly recommend this one!

Bottom Line:

A beautifully written, extremely thought provoking, absolutely heartbreaking story

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 Was Stuck On A Mountain in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Hiiiiii!!!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. My family of 4 spent 9 days in Gatlingburg, Tennessee. We rented a log cabin on the top of a mountain. It first it was beautiful and magical…and then we got stuck on it during a blizzard!

Traveling during a pandemic can be done as long as you have clear expectations of what you are willing and are not willing to do in terms of your safety comfort level. Our family drove 12 hours (no airplane), stayed at a private log cabin (no hotel room), wiped down the entire cabin with Clorox wipes upon arrival, brought our own pillows, only ate outdoors at restaurants, didn’t do any tourist attractions, stayed away from all crowded areas, wore masks EVERYWHERE, etc.

Our 9 day trip can be broken down into 3 distinct categories: 1. Serene Mountains 2. Snowy Mountains 3. Stranded on a Mountain.

The beginning of our trip was peaceful, beautiful, and wonderful.

Our log cabin was BEAUTIFUL. It was completely private and quite literally on top of a mountain. It had an indoor pool (!!!), 2 hot tubs, a pool table, a fireplace, 2 balconies, and a Christmas tree! It was gorgeous and it smelled absolutely divine.

In the master suite. My husband refused to get in this one (!) but the kids and I loved it, lol!
Hanging on the refrigerator in our cabin!
Jon and I snuck outside to enjoy a peaceful few minutes in the rain. It was as glorious as it looks.
At one point, I looked down from our master bedroom loft and found my daughter just peacefully reading a book. PROUD MAMA.

We went on a family hike each day and saw some absolutely gorgeous sights! Hiking to the top of Laurel Falls was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip. The long hike up was BEAUTIFUL but there aren’t even words to describe seeing the waterfall at the top. Truly one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen. I cried! If you are ever in the area, this is absolutely a must do. Stunning.

When you hike to the top of a mountain, you reward yourself with a snack. Best apple of my life!

We also loved driving (and walking) through Cades Cove. Two separate times deer came right up in front of our car! Such a fun way to spend an entire morning. So much history there, we loved going into the log cabins and old churches.

Wild turkeys just strolling along the road next to us. No big deal.
When you see a random waterfall on the road as you are driving, you pull over! Gorgeous!
Oh hi, deer.
Saw deer, immediately pulled over! So, so cool.

I found $90 cash in the bathroom at Cades Cove! I waited and waited to see if anybody was going to come back to look for it but nobody did. I was hesitant to turn it into the visitors center considering it was cash and anyone working could have taken it. My wonderful husband had the lovely idea to put it in one of the Cades Cove donation boxes and that’s exactly what we did (after already having donated our own money hours earlier). It felt great to know that the $90 went to such a wonderful cause although I so wish the owner would have come back for it. Either way it wasn’t my money to spend and it feels good to know it went to a wonderful cause 🙂

The first 6 days of our trip were spent in lovely weather. We ate outside! We hiked up mountains! We drove to Asheville and visited the Botanical Gardens!

Gatlinburg Nature Trail
Gatlinburg Nature Trail
Reading with my girl. Happy.
Paula Deen Store!
Wherever I go, I find the Dunkin’…

And then on Day 7…

SNOW.

Our loooooong and steep driveway
Grill at our cabin
Bear proof garbage cans at our cabin

Like….blizzard out of NOWHERE. I’ve never seen anything like that before. The snow just kept coming and coming! We played outside and it was honestly my favorite part of the entire trip. It was POURING on us! At one point I wrote “MOM” in the snow and 2 minutes later it was all filled in. Craaaazy. I LOVE SNOW and this snow was STUNNING. Felt like a such a bonus to have this happen while we were there…almost like 2 completely different trips in 1!

Had the weather forecast predicted this blizzard, we would have left a day or 2 earlier than planned just to ensure that we would be able to do the 12 hour drive but it legit just came out of NOWHERE.

So we played in it and sat in our hot tub on our balcony while it fell. At this point in the trip, the snow was still exciting.

Jon and I 🙂
Christmas Eve. Snowy perfection!

We went to bed that night wondering what this was going to mean for our ride home the next day ….and then in the middle of the night our power went out. IT. WAS. FREEZING. Our cabin must have been 50 degrees by early morning. It was so incredibly cold. Thank goodness for warm robes and a gas fireplace! I brushed my teeth and packed our stuff all by the light of a flashlight. The power was out for a total of 7.5 hours. The MINUTE is came on I very literally RAN to the coffee maker and made the absolute fastest pot of coffee of my entire life. I was so afraid that the power would go out again and I needed this pocket of time to make a pot of coffee! Being stuck on a mountain with no power, no car, and no food…scary. But no coffee??? TERRIFYING.

5:00 AM. FREEZING.

Our driveway was absolutely massive, steep, and covered in ice. Jon tried to back our AWD SUV down it and…this happened.

Shit.

So that’s when things started to get a bit…interesting. Our car was stuck, we were stuck, and our food supply was quickly dwindling. Instacart wasn’t delievering, restaurants weren’t delivering, local grocery stores weren’t delivering. Grubhub, Ubereats, Door Dash…NOTHING. We desperatly tried and tried to place orders but soon after they were placed, they would get canceled. Yet we kept trying because we very literally had no choice. Roadside Assistance and all local towing companies were completely backed up. Cars were literally stuck EVERYWHERE! Blocking streets, blocking mountain paths, blocking everything. We very literally couldn’t leave and had absolutely nobody who could help us. So thankful that the cabin management company allowed for us to stay an an extra night. We truly had no way to leave!

Stuck on a mountain.

We basically spent all of Saturday on our phones trying to find someone to help us with our car and trying to find ANYWHERE to deliver us food (all with a HORRIBLE Internet connection)! We placed Instacart order after Instacart order and restaurant order after restaurant order and they all would inevidbly just get canceled. At this point we were tired, hungry, and feeling pretty helpless.

Our kids…omg our kids…they were WONDERFUL through all of this! They kept themselves busy while we tried to figure all of this out. We played Go Fish, Uno, and Family Trivial Pursuit to pass the time all while still trying to find someone on our phones to help us. I taught them the quote “You can’t always control what happens but you can always control how you react”. It was a perfect time for a life lesson!

And then…HOPE! After 2 days of searching, we finally found a pizza restaurant that agreed to deliver to us! We watched and watched the GPS as the car got closer and closer to us and when it was 1 minute away…it encountered a truck blocking the street and couldn’t get through. The delivery driver turned around and we were once again left hungry, frustrated, and exhausted.

About an hour later, we received a notification that another restaurant was coming (at this point we had placed multiple orders with multiple restaurants and would have gladly accepted ALL of them if need be) and….

THEY CAME!!!!

Our excitment was short lived though. Our order was for Jon S. and we received an order for John L. At this point, all we could do was laugh and dig in to John L’s food. Let’s just say that John L. had apparently placed a VERY different order than Jon S….but by this point, nobody cared. WE HAD FOOD. I don’t eat anything spicy and I hate rye bread. Corned beef with spicy mustard on rye bread??? YES PLEASE! I literally ate every last crumb. John L. wherever you are, I hope you enjoyed my turkey on whole wheat…

Once we ate, everything seemed better. Yes we were still stuck on a mountain but we were stuck on a mountain with a bit of food and power. However, we had no toothbrushes because I had thrown them away when packing by flashlight that morning. Does anyone else do that? Every time we go on vacation, I always throw our toothbrushes (and shower loofahs) away before we return home! Usually when I do that, it’s ok because we go home the same day. This time however, I maaaaaay have done that a bit prematurily. Oops.

Garbage that we couldn’t take outside because the bear proof garbage cans were locked…and the lock froze!

The next morning the very first thing we did was to search for a restaurant to deliver us both breakfast and lunch at the same time. The roads were a bit clearer by this point, it was no longer Christmas, and we continued to put a massive tip on our order. WE FOUND A RESTAURANT TO DELIVER TO US.

1 hour later and we had ice cold scrambled eggs, soggy pancakes, brown banana slices, and strange looking meats. It was one of the most delicious meals of my entire life and I was thankful for every single bite!!! I will never, ever take food for granted ever again.

We spent the entire morning once again on our phones trying to find a towing service to come and help us to get our car out of the ditch. A few claimed that they would get to us…as soon as they could. It did not look promising. Jon spent time scraping 1/4 of the massive driveway with a tiny windshield ICE SCRAPER because there wasn’t a shovel anywhere to be found. It was nuts!

If you know me in real life you know that I always try to find the humor in every situation. The snow shaped like a penis outside of our cabin made me smile!

By this point, we were slowly starting to accept the fact that we would be spending another night when suddenly…our angel showed up. A random man who was driving around the mountain with his Jeep and a towing rope just looking for people who needed help. WE NEEDED HELP! Him and Jon worked together and somehow were able to get our car OUT. There was a tiny few seconds where we thought Jon’s car might roll over down the driveway with him inside of it but I’m skipping over that part because it was terrifying. Bottom line…the car was OUT and now safely at the BOTTOM of the driveway.

The ditch where our car was. I think our tires might have mud permanently on them from now on!

It was 3:00 pm. Jon wanted to be home for work in the morning which left us with only one option: leave as soon as possible. NOT ideal to leave at 3:00 pm when you have a 12 hour drive ahead of you but we had no choice! The kids and I scrambled to repack everything while Jon walked each piece of luggage down the sheet of ice that was our ridiculously long and steep driveway. It was insane.

Once Jon loaded the car, he had to help the kids and I make our way down the ridiculously icy driveway. It was scary.

Our car ride home was LONG. Longest car ride of my entire life. When we walked in the door of our house at 2:30 in the morning (exactly 12 hours after we left because there was a time change), I was so thankful to be safely at home.

Looking back on our time in Tennessee, I am choosing to remember the amaaaaazing 3/4 of our time there! I’m also feeling very blessed in knowing that our situation in that cabin could have been much, much worse. We had each other and that was all we needed (although heat, lights, COFFEE, and food were all very much appreciated).

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my personal life with you today! Obviously you can tell that I spent time reading while in Tennessee. I read an AMAZING book on this trip! It was almost 400 pages, I devoured it while in that cabin, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’ll post my full review of it here on Wednesday!

As for now, I’m currently reading this book. It’s about people who rent a luxurious cabin on top of a mountain, get snowed in without power, and then start DYING. Thank GOD I started reading this once I safely got back home, reading this while stuck on that mountain would most definitely NOT have been a good choice, lol. Crazy to think that I actually DID have it with me in my suitcase! Thankfully it remained unopened until I was safely back in my own house with lots of power and lots of food 🙂

Happy New Year!

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)*

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

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

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

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First Lines Friday…On A Monday :)

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

So this is a big feature that many book bloggers do each Friday. I’ve never participated but when I started reading a new book this week, the first lines JUMPED out at me and I thought this would be such a fun way to share what I’m currently reading…and the ridiculously NOT 2020 vibe those first lines gave off to me, lol.

First Line Friday Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Ok so as I mentioned above, I started reading this book over the weekend. Honestly, I never really notice first lines but these particular first lines literally JUMPED out at me. The beginning of this book takes place in 2008 and so clearly NOT in 2020, lol.

“It’s a wonder everyone who uses public ransport in winter doesn’t kneel over and die of germ overload. In the last ten minutes I’ve been coughed on and sneezed at, and if the woman in front of me shakes her dandruff my way again, I might just douse her with the dregs of the lukewarm coffee that I’m no longer able to drink because it’s full of her scalp.”

Is that the most UN 2020 paragraph you have ever read?!?

Using public transport during a pandemic…ugh.

Dying of germ overload? Yup.

Being coughed on and sneezed at? HELL NO.

Woman standing so close to you that her dandruff falls on you? Back up 6 feet!

Holding coffee in public? Not when you are wearing mask!

So now you can see why these particular first lines caught my attention, lol. Last year at this time, I wouldn’t even have thought twice about these first lines but this year I actually had to stop and reread them because they JUMPED out at me, lol.

So what book am I curently reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness. 

I’ll post a full review once I finish reading!

Have you read One Day in December? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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