I Highly, Highly Recommend This Book!

My friend Jana and I refer to each other as “Book Twins”.  Not only is our taste in books so similar but we know and trust each other’s tastes enough to know that when one of us has a book to recommend to the other….it’s highly likely that it’s going to be a hit with both of us.  I had never heard of The Fire on High or of it’s author Elizabeth Acevedo.  However, as soon as Jana sent me a message a few weeks ago saying this book is now one of her favorite books of 2020…I immediately put it on hold at the library.  Thank you, Book Twin!

Goodreads Synopsis of With the Fire on High {Elizabeth Acevedo}:

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

My Review of With The Fire On High {Elizabeth Acevedo}:

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

Oh this book is BEAUTIFUL.  I absolutely loved everything about it!

I love a good YA (young adult) book and this one is an absolute gem.  A must read.

The characters are so well developed and each will stay with me for a very long time.  I haven’t stopped thinking of them since I finished reading the last page yesterday!  The story lines are rich in detail, description, and depth.  This book was so beautifully written.  Even the cover art is stunning!  I absolutely loved everything about this book.

My one and only complaint with this book is something that I usually love in books!  The chapters in this book are SHORT…like sometimes just 2 pages short.  While I usually do love this, I did feel at times like they were a bit TOO short and just as a story line was really taking off…the chapter abruptly ended.  However, these short chapters did make it so easy to fly through this book!  I easily could have read this entire book over the course of 1 or 2 days if I wasn’t currently quarantined with 2 young children 😉

This book is absolutely BEGGING for a sequel…so many story lines that I would love to see extended!  Fingers crossed…

My book twin did not disappoint me!  She rarely does.  Except that one time.

Bottom Line:

If you love YA, you will LOVE this book!

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think? 

Have you read any of Elizabeth Acevedo’s other books?  Which would you recommend? 

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

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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

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

My #2 Must Have Book Accessory

I once posted about my #1 must have book accessory of all time and I still stand by that product and statement that it is #1!  I very literally use that product EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Today I present to you my #2 must have book accessory!  I first saw this product a few weeks ago when another book blogger whom I follow was using it.  My very first thought was: what a waste of money for such an unnecessary product!

But then I bought one.  And I LOVE IT.

It’s an….interesting looking product.  I think it actually looks a bit naughty, lol.  It’s totally not! 

For YEARS I’ve struggled with reading while drying my hair.  I always wanted to but I could never get the book to lay flat enough while I was using both of my hands to dry and comb my hair.  I’ve tried to use my cell phone, other books, etc. to put weight on books but could never figure out a good solution, especially for paperback books.

Problem solved.

Eating while reading?  No problem.

The one and ONLY complaint that I have with this product is that the rubber material that it is made of seems to be made of some type of HAIR MAGNET.  If you shed thick, dark hair like I do, you might want to consider a darker color weight (this brand has various color choices).  I chose clear because I thought a big dark object on the page might be distracting….but random hairs is also proving to be quite distracting (and gross, lol).

After I finish drying my hair:

Ew.

I mention this all the time but the older I get, the more minimalistic I have become.  I believe our society is filled to the brim with unnecessary products…but this…well, turns out that this isn’t one of them.  I LOVE THIS PRODUCT SO MUCH!  The possibilities are so endless!  Cooking from a cookbook, pumping with a breast pump, eating any meal, reading while on vacation, etc.

Do you have a weighted bookmark?  When do you find yourself using yours?  I’ve had mine for a few weeks now and I’ve found that drying my hair is my absolute favorite way to use mine.  It pains me to think of all of my missed reading opportunities over the years because I couldn’t find a good hands free solution to keep the book open!

Click the image below to order the exact weighted bookmark that I have directly through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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

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

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

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*”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

How Do You Treat Books?

I’m currently borrowing a book from a friend and knowing that I have to give it back when I’m done reading is making me very much aware of the way I am treating it.

It’s not that I normally MIStreat books necessarily, it’s that I’m just so used to always having them next to me that I just seamlessly incorporate them into my daily life.  I toss them into my computer bag, throw them onto the seat of my car, eat while reading, etc.

Not this book.

See that safe place on top of my husband’s dresser?  The dust jacket (or book jacket…both terms are correct) has been sitting safely there since the day I began reading so I won’t accidentally tear or bend it.  Safely away from my children’s curious hands.  The ONLY times I have put it actually ON the book have been to take pictures for Instagram or Facebook, lol.

I NEVER use bookmarks…ever.  I always dog ear (fold down) the corners of my pages!  Not this time…a tiny yellow post it note has been holding my place.  Hate it.  I’ve never been one to have to read to the end of the chapter before putting the book down so I always leave off in random places.  Dog earing the pages allows me to know exactly which page I left off on!  Now I have to figure it out between 2 pages each time I pick it up which is annoying.

I LOVE to bend the spine of books as I’m reading.  I know many of you may find this weird but it actually makes me feel more connected to the book because it feels more “lived in” as I’m reading!  Here are some examples of this from my bookshelf:

The borrowed book I’m currently reading?  PERFECT SPINE.

I never realized how much I use books as coffee coasters.  Apparently it’s often!  Not this book 🙂

And a small glimpse into my life…I have written this entire blog post with a 4 year old  cuddled up to me with his favorite joke book.  The book comes with a “Whoopie Blaster” and makes various farting noises.  Some bloggers write to the sound of beautiful music while here I am sitting and writing to the sound of farts.  Lovely.

Wake of the Sadico Winner:

How do you treat books?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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

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

*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

***GIVEAWAY (Open to International Readers)*** Wake of the Sadico {Jo Sparkes}

I’m excited to host this international giveaway for you today!  When Jo Sparkes reached out to me last fall to see if I would be interested in reading and reviewing The Wake of the Sadico, I knew that it was a book that would be quite different from the usual books I read and review.  As with everything in life, sometimes going out of your comfort zone is a good thing.  In this case, it was a VERY good thing!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest blog review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

On a Caribbean dive vacation, five friends discover a centuries old shipwreck – and a karmic debt past due.
Wall Eddington has always done the correct thing. It’s part of being British, part of family tradition. Yet somehow someone drowned.
Now, half a world away, he’s diving off an old sailboat with four American friends. As a vacation it’s a bit primitive, but just what his soul craves.
Until they find a shipwreck.

Untouched and impossibly preserved, the thing bewitches with promises of gold. Their rush to claim it bogs down with odd accidents and petty arguments – and Wall is not the only one with dark dreams of pain and torture. Dreams of a captain called Sadico.
In fleeing his personal demon, Wall has run straight to its lair.
This trap was laid centuries ago, for five souls moved on to new lives and new loves. Set by the one soul they left behind.

My Thoughts:

First of all, can we please take a moment to discuss how gorgeous this cover photo is?!?  STUNNING.

This book is the most perfect example of why sometimes it’s great to have new experiences and reading a book outside of my usual selections proved to be such a positive and new experience for me.  I went into reading this book with a completely open mind and I’m so happy to report that it totally sucked me right in.

Some of the underwater scenes had me literally holding my breath because they were so intense!  I couldn’t put this book down and finished almost the entire second half over the course of 2 days.

I couldn’t help but think numerous times while reading what an intense and awesome movie this book would make.  The writing was so colorful and descriptive that bringing it to the big screen would be fantastic!  One of the best parts of this book was how everything and everyone tied together to create such a complicated and twisted story.  Seeing all of that unfold on the big screen would be so amazing. I can’t even imagine how terrifyingly awesome some of those underwater scenes would be!  OMG.

One of my absolute favorite parts of writing my blog is communicating with authors and I have loved communicating with Jo Sparkes over the past few months!  She is just lovely and so is her book!  Thanks so much for allowing me the opportunity to read and review your book, Jo 🙂

A Conversation with Jo Sparkes, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

The book came together through 3 separate pieces.

Learning to dive with 2 instructors who loved wreck diving and a Brit who took exception to some American rules.

Spending time in the UK with my British husband and his friends. I grew fascinated with the cultural differences from the USA (my home country). Wall sprang from 3 people, though (like all characters really), he grew into his own identity.

When reincarnation sprang into my orbit – all the pieces fell together.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

Those who like beach reads, supernatural thrillers, tales with ghosts and a happy ending. This plays with reincarnation a little differently.

Where can your book be purchased?

Currently on Amazon and Ingram. That should expand to other outlets in a few months.

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

scary   tropical   suspenseful

Any additional information that you would like to provide about you or your book:

I made up the term ‘soul pods’ – but not the concept. And while I wouldn’t label it a romance, my editor points out “but they’re literally soul-mates!”

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

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a copy of Wake of the Sadico?
I have 1 copy to give away!  Your choice…hard copy or Kindle version!

To be entered, please complete these 2 simple steps:

1. Make sure that you are following and/or subscribed to my blog

2.  Tell me in the comments below (on this blog post) about a time when you did something outside of your comfort zone!

**You must complete BOTH of these steps to be eligible for the giveaway and you must complete them here on my blog (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (4/17/20) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Saturday’s blog post (4/18/20).

Make sure you check the blog on Saturday to see if you’ve won (you will have 48 hours from the time I post the winners to email me your mailing address.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner).

If you already follow and/or subscribe to my blog, you are still eligible…just leave a comment below to be entered 🙂

Good luck!  Can’t wait to read your comments!

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!*

*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

WWW #6 {Book Coffee Happy}

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly WWW (What I’m Reading) post!  I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

I started reading this one a few days ago.  I’ve heard from so many people who loooooved it, I’m excited to see if I will feel the same way 🙂 I’ll post a full blog review once I’m finished reading!

What did you recently finish reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

On a Caribbean dive vacation, five friends discover a centuries old shipwreck – and a karmic debt past due.
Wall Eddington has always done the correct thing. It’s part of being British, part of family tradition. Yet somehow someone drowned.
Now, half a world away, he’s diving off an old sailboat with four American friends. As a vacation it’s a bit primitive, but just what his soul craves.
Until they find a shipwreck.

Untouched and impossibly preserved, the thing bewitches with promises of gold. Their rush to claim it bogs down with odd accidents and petty arguments – and Wall is not the only one with dark dreams of pain and torture. Dreams of a captain called Sadico.
In fleeing his personal demon, Wall has run straight to its lair.
This trap was laid centuries ago, for five souls moved on to new lives and new loves. Set by the one soul they left behind.

This book is GREAT and…I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY for it on the blog TOMORROW!!!  Be sure to check back here in the morning for your chance to win!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorne College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.

The Other’s Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake–the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite–this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.

I’m such a sucker for novels about best friends.  And this book has FOUR best friends just like ME!  I can’t wait to start reading.  The synopsis makes me immediately think of this book.  Fingers crossed it’s similar because I LOVED that book…

What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear 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!*

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

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

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

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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

An Older Book that I LOVED #3

I posted about one of my all time favorite books a few days ago and it got me thinking of other older books that I LOVE but for whatever reason have never been written about on my blog.  Being home and quarantined is giving me a perfect opportunity to share these special books with all you 🙂

During a time when so many of you are looking for wonderful books to read, this feels like a wonderful time to give these suggestions and a chance for me to revisit some of my very favorite titles.  Writing about these books is definitely making me want to reread them!

(I wrote this post last year but it is another example of an older book that I LOVED so I’m including it in this new blog series as well)!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

My Thoughts:

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

5 Stars

Oh how I loved this book!

It was so beautifully written.  Everything about this book was absolutely stunning…the storylines, the characters, the writing style….everything.  Couldn’t put it down.

I remember sitting in our library’s silent reading room 6 years ago with this book open in front of me as I DEVOURED each beautiful page.  There was a cackling fire in the fireplace, blueberry oatmeal in the tupperware container next to me, steaming hot coffee in the orange travel mug in my hand, and I remember thinking that the entire scene was the most perfect definition of the word”glorious”.

Although I never wrote about this special book on my blog until today (hoooow???), I apparently did write about it on Instagram back in 2018:

Bottom Line:

One of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.

Xo,

Jenny

Have you read The Language of Flowers?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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

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

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

*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

How Have I NEVER Talked About This Book on Here??? One of My All Time Favorites and Here are Some Personal Reasons Why :)

How on EARTH have I not reviewed this book on here yet?!?  One of my all time favorite books and it’s so special to me for so many personal reasons.  If you haven’t yet read this book…READ.  THIS.  BOOK.

In 2010, I remember walking through Sams Club and seeing it among the other books on the table.  I had heard such great things about it and immediately tossed it into the cart (this was waaaaaay before my minimalism lifestyle started).  I immediately came home and wrote the following Facebook status:

Turns out my Facebook friends LOVED it! I couldn’t wait to start reading.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women, mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends, view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

My Thoughts:

5,000,000 Stars

I brought this book with me to Minnesota where my husband had a work trip and I tagged along because when your husband has a work trip in the same town as the Mall of America….you tag along. Obviously.

While he was in meetings, I spent my days alone and SHOPPING (again, before the minimalism lifestyle) and when his meetings were done, him and I had the best time exploring a new (to us) city.  What started off as a work trip quickly and randomly turned into one of the most fun vacations him and I have ever taken!  The 2 of us went to fancy restaurants, international bazaars, art galleries, comedy clubs, and more.  We had the best time!  I remember laying in our hotel bed and completely immersing myself into this wonderful book throughout that special week.  I LOVE when I’m reading a great book while on vacation…

Jon and I on that 2010 Minnesota trip! We look like babies!

Fast forward 1 year later and to one of the best memories of my entire life.  I woke up, took a pregnancy test, and everything was instantly changed forever! I was going to be a MOM! Jon and I spent the whole day in complete excitement of what was happening.  Our day of celebrating together had to be cut short because I had made plans that night to go into the city with 2 of my closest friends for a fancy dinner and to hear Katheryn Stockett give a book talk all about The Help!  My friends and I had been planning this special night for MONTHS, how could I cancel on them?!?  So I went…along with my huge secret.  I remember telling the server to leave the feta cheese off of my chicken at dinner and praying that my friends wouldn’t suspect a thing because I LOVE feta cheese (they didn’t)! As much as I adore Kathryn Stockett and her beautiful book…I truly didn’t listen to a single word that she said that night 😉  I’m sure her talk was lovely!

At the book talk the day I found out that I was going to be a MOM!

When I got home that night, I found Jon reading a book of a different genre 🙂

Fast forward 4 years and my sister in law bought my daughter the most perfect shirt with the most perfect quote from the most perfect book:

LOVE IT.

Look closely at my blog’s signature picture of me reading a book and drinking coffee…I spy The Help 😉

If you haven’t read The Help, you absolutely must.  It’s such a beautifully written story!  It will make you laugh, cry, and every emotion in between.  And as a bonus…this is one of the rare circumstances where I actually think that the movie IS as good as the book!

I went to the theater to see this movie when I was 4 months pregnant with my daughter and spent the entire movie rubbing my growing belly.  Her first movie!

I loved the movie and how true it was to the book. Both the book and the movie were so well done. I was able to talk to live chat with Viola Davis (one of the stars of the movie) online after its release and was able to tell her how much I loved it! She was lovely and appreciative of my message and her and I continued to message back and forth…she was so sweet!

Obviously just thinking about this book brings up some beautiful memories for me but even without those, I would so highly recommend this gorgeously (is gorgeously a word?  If not, it should be) written book.  The messages that it sends, the lessons that it teaches, the in depth characters…and everything else.

Bottom Line

It’s an amazing book.  Read it.

Have you read The Help? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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!*

*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

Why I Stopped Reading This Popular Book

This book is currently alllll over the book blogging community.  Everyone seems to be reading this popular book right now!  I was VERY excited 2.5 weeks ago when I found a lone copy sitting amongst our library’s newest releases.  It was the day before the quarantine started and I had a feeling in my gut that things were about to drastically change.  I had posted this on Facebook that day:

I left the library for the very last time that day with a huge stack of books in my hand and an uneasy feeling in my heart.

Of all of the books I brought home with me, this was the one I was most excited to read!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss―a striving wannabe A-lister―who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. So what if Orla and Floss’s methods are a little shady and sometimes people get hurt? Their legions of followers can’t be wrong.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is based on a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

My Thoughts:

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

I didn’t finish reading it.

I LOVE reality tv….like, LOVE.  I also love Influencers, bloggers (obvi), YouTube Stars, etc.  This book topic is riiiiiiight up my alley.

So what was the problem?  Why did I stop reading?

This book toggles between 2 different time periods.  The present day (well 2015 so close enough) which discusses the makings of an influencer and gives the “behind the scenes” of how influencers are “created”.  Loved reading about this!  BUT…the other storyline takes place 35 years into the future.  Robots, devices being implanted into people so they can “see” things in their mind, etc.

Aaaaaaaaand I’m out.

Yes, the future story revolves around a reality tv star and how the world watches her every move which I loved reading about!  However, reading about all of the technical futuristic elements wasn’t for me.  In fact, it made me not want to continue reading.

Also, the author kept eluding to things without explaining them which was both frustrating and annoying.  I’m sure there would have been a big revel at some point where everything would be explained but I just wasn’t invested enough in this book to stick around and find out.

I’ve learned that the #1 reason for me to decide to not finish a book is when picking it up is something that I don’t look forward to doing.  When my favorite bobby starts to feel like a chore, that’s when I decide I’m done.  Too many good books out there!  Moving on.

This book isn’t bad and I 100 percent understand the infatuation that people have with it!  The storylines were interesting, creative, and I was just beginning to see the clever way they were starting to connect…but….unfortunately, it’s just not a book for me.

Bottom Line:

If you love reality tv, influencers, and reading about the future, give this book a try!  If you don’t, this is NOT a book for you.

And just for fun, here are some of my favorite reality tv shows:

The Bachelor/Bachelorette (side note…I hate the pick for the new Bachelorette…)

Big Brother

American Idol (Jon and I used to watch this religiously but haven’t in a few years.  No better time to jump back in like when you’re quarantined!  My family has binged this entire season over this quarantine and as of yesterday we are officially all caught up.  It took a few episodes to connect to these new judges and new format but I’m ALL IN now!  It’s a perfect and fun show to watch as a family, my 8 year old daughter is loving it.)  GO CYNIAH ELISE!

Anyone remember Bridalplasty?  LOVED IT.

Fun Fact:  I used to own box sets of the entire Flavor of Love series and JUST sold them at a garage sale a few years ago 🙂

Keeping up With the Kardashians, Real Housewives, anything on Bravo (Newlyweds the First Year was AWESOME), Teen Mom, etc.

The list goes on and on and on and on….told you I’m reality tv obsessed!

Do you watch reality tv?  Which is your fave?  Have you read Followers?  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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I SO Wish Authors Would Stop Doing This {Part 2}

I love authors and I have an incredible amount of respect for all they do.

However, there are certain things that I so wish they would stop doing!  You can read Part 1 of this series HERE.

Part 2 of this series will focus onnnn….drumroll please…

TOO MANY CHARACTERS!

Omg this is SUCH a pet peeve of mine.

I would so rather read a book with a handful of well developed characters than a book with so many characters that none of them are developed or even mentioned enough to make significant contributions to the story.

I hate, hate, HATE when I have to flip back through pages (I only read paper books) to try to figure out who a character is because there were just too many to keep straight.

I find this especially frustrating while reading thrillers.  I get it…there needs to be a fair amount of characters introduced so the “who done it” isn’t completely obvious.  However, it’s more than annoying to find out that the “who done it” turns out to be a meaningless character who I never even had the chance to get to “know” in the first place.  Nothing worse than a huge plot twist at the end revolving around an insignificant character.

What do you think?  Do you agree with me?  How many characters is too many?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

And just an FYI because a few of you have asked…yes, I’m still reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!  I usually finish reading books must faster than this…but…I’ve been spending any and all of my quiet time on a Bachelor BINGE.  I was 5 episodes behind and it was time to just sit and BINGE so I would be caught up for the finale.  I’m alllllmost caught up but not quite so until I do, Evelyn Hugo is taking a backseat.  As soon as I’m all caught up to Bachelor nation, I will finish Evelyn!  My 2 spolier free thoughts on this season:

  1. This is the first season in the history of The Bachelor that I don’t have a favorite contestant and I haven’t had one all season.
  2. Peter has made some absolutely HORRIBLE choices.  Like…throughout entire time.

Do you watch the Bachelor?  Please NO SPOILERS and NO PREDICTIONS if you do!

Winner of the Spring! Time to Build a Nest, A Story About Trumpeter Swans Giveaway:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

1,000,000 stars

Oh this book. It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL.

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

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

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

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

I do have 2 issues with this book:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom Line:

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

Xo,

Jenny

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

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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

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

*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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