What I’m Currently Reading (Loving), What I Recently Read (Amazing), What I Think I’ll Read Next (Excited)

What I’m Currently Reading (Loving), What I Recently Read (Amazing), What I Think I’ll Read Next (Excited)

I dropped my favorite candle holder yesterday and it broke. Sad.

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW (which is supposed to be published on Wednesdays but today is actually Monday)! The Three Ws: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What 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 Are You Currently Reading?

Thank you to Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central for sharing your copy of this one with me! I started reading it yesterday and I’m already ALL IN…

Goodreads Synopsis of He Gets That From Me {Jacqueline Friedland}:

As a young mother with a toddler and a live-in boyfriend, Maggie Fisher’s job at a checkout counter in downtown Phoenix doesn’t afford her much financial flexibility. She dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher, options she squandered when she fled her family home as a teenager. When Maggie stumbles onto an ad offering thousands of dollars to women who are willing to gestate other people’s babies, she at first finds the concept laughable. Before long, however, she’s been seduced by all the ways the extra money could improve her life. Once she decides to go for it, it’s only a matter of months before she’s chosen as a gestational carrier by Chip and Donovan Rigsdale, a married couple from New York.

After delivering twin babies and proudly handing them off to the Rigsdales, Maggie finally gets her life on a positive trajectory: she earns her degree, lands a great job, and builds a family of her own. She can’t fathom why, ten years after the fact, the fertility clinic is calling to ask for a follow-up DNA test.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

I will have my full review of this gorgeous book posted soon but for now I’ll just say…YOU NEED TO PREORDER THIS ONE STAT (it publishes 5/17). Link to preorder at the bottom of this post!

Goodreads Synopsis of When We Let Go {Rochelle B. Weinstein}:

A moving novel of family and forgiveness and of hope and healing by Rochelle B. Weinstein, the USA Today bestselling author of This Is Not How It Ends.

When Avery Beckett is proposed to by Jude Masters, a widowed father and the man she loves, it should be a time of great joy. Instead, Avery is on edge. She’s wary of the idea of family, doubtful of happy endings, and too afraid to take the leap. It’s the kind of fear that comes from having secrets.

Before Avery commits to a new life, she must reconcile with the one she left behind.

When Avery returns to her childhood farm in the North Carolina mountains, she’s surprised to be saddled with a companion: Jude’s teenage daughter, Elle, who’s grappling with the loss of her mother and the complicated emotions of first love. On a path of mending wounds and breaking down walls, Avery and Elle form an unexpected alliance. It’s giving them the courage to move forward. And for Avery, everything she needs to confront the past.

An emotional tale of mothers and daughters, loss and acceptance, When We Let Go is about the lessons that come from heartbreak and the healing it takes to embrace the joy of a second chance.

Thank you to Emily Giffin for sending me an advanced copy of your newest book! I can’t wait to read it! Meant to Be publishes 5/31…link to preorder at the bottom of this post 🙂

Goodreads Synopsis of Meant to Be {Emily Giffin}:

A restless golden boy and a girl with a troubled past navigate a love story that may be doomed before it even begins in this irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed and The Lies That Bind.

The Kingsley family is practically American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. When Joseph S. Kingsley III is born in 1960, he inherits the weight of that legacy. Growing up with all the Kingsley looks and charisma, Joe should have no problem taking up the mantle after his father’s untimely death. But he is also a little bit reckless, and can’t seem to figure out how to channel the expectations of an entire country.

No one ever expected anything of Cate, on the other hand. She, too, grew up in a single-parent household–just her and her mom scraping by in their small apartment. As a teenager, though, Cate is discovered for her looks. Modeling may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, her face is everywhere; though she is always aware that she’d be a pariah in her social circles if anyone knew her true story.

When Joe and Cate’s paths cross, their connection is instant. What remains to be seen is whether their relationship will survive the glare of the spotlight that follows Joe everywhere. And just as they find themselves in the make-or-break moment, the tragedy that seems to run in Joe’s family right alongside all that privilege will repeat itself.

In a beautifully written novel that recaptures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells a story of a love that may or may not have the power to transcend circumstances that seem arrayed against it . . . and the difficulty of finding your way to the place you belong.

Have you read (or are planning on reading) any of these 3 books? What are you currently reading? What have you recently read? What do you think you’ll read next? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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Book Review: The Lies That Bind {Emily Giffin}

I had been waiting for MONTHS to read and review The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin and was obsessively checking my status at the library DAILY to see when I would finally be able to get my hands on this popular book.

I had heard from not 1, not 2 but 3 friends who told me that they read this book over the course of 1-2 days because they couldn’t put it down and gave such glowing reviews. I couldn’t WAIT to start reading and knew that our lake house getaway would be the perfect time. I decided about a month ago that if the library wasn’t going to provide me with a copy for my vacation, Amazon would! When the library called the week before we were leaving to tell me that my copy was waiting for me, it truly felt so meant to be. You can read about our wonderful Labor Day weekend lake house vacation HERE.

Goodreads Synopsis of The Lies That Bind {Emily Giffin}:

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city–and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew.

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it–you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours–and shots of tequila–the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse–Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head.

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who he seemed to be?

My Review of The Lies That Bind {Emily Giffin}:

I brought it to Michigan and read bits and pieces whenever I could. Lakeside? Check. In bed at night? Check. In bed first thing in the morning? Check. Sitting on the couch drinking coffee whilst gazing out at the gorgeous lake? Check. I read little bits each day throughout the 5 days and finished about 2 hours before we left to come home.

I interrupt this review to bring you this amazingness…

EMILY GIFFIN THINKS I’M PRETTY. I REPEAT…EMILY GIFFIN THINKS I’M PRETTY.

MIND. BLOWN.

So…I liked this book.  I did.  But did I LOVE it like my friends did?  I did not.

I pretty much loathed all of the characters at varying times while reading. Just when I would start to like a character, something would happen to make me not like that character…and this continued throughout the book. Where this was supposed to make the reader feel engaged, it actually made me feel DISengaged because I felt each character and each relationship wasn’t given enough detail for me to even be able to form an opinion and once I did, that opinion was instantly changed. And not in a twisty, fun way! In more of a…this character is awful…JUST KIDDING…now THIS character is AWFUL…JUST KIDDING…and that first character…NOT AWFUL AFTERALL…JUST KIDDING! Eventually all of this back and forth just got annoying and I gave up on trying to like anybody.

Without giving away any spoilers, I felt the author’s use of 9/11 in this story was disrespectful. The actual writing and details of the events were brilliantly written but the fictitious storyline based around 9/11 felt weird and so wrong to me. I can’t even imagine reading this as someone who lost a loved one during that time. I would imagine they would feel infuriated at how this story unfolded.

This book was just eh for me. Kept me interested enough to keep reading….but I honestly don’t think I would have continued if not for the high accolades from my friends. Parts felt so long, parts felt like they could have been longer, overall just eh.

And I HATED the ending.

I was so confused because my friends LOVED IT!  So I went on Goodreads and confirmed that I was indeed not alone….MANY other people out there did not. 

I definately liked it! I did! It was a great book to bring on vacation as I was able to easily put it down and read bits and pieces here and there. And as much as I loved that…it was absolutely one of it’s biggest flaws as I wanted to not be able to put it down. My friends felt that “unputdownable” feeling with this book…I easily kept putting this one down. Eh.

This was my first Emily Giffin book.  Would I read another?  I would!  Am I racing to?  I’m not.  Do I hope she still thinks I’m pretty even if I didn’t love her book?  I REALLY, REALLY DO!

Bottom Line:

Eh.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d 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

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Our Amazing Return Visit To Spring Lake, Michigan

2 months ago our family took the most lovely vacation to Spring Lake, Michigan. We rented a cottage literally on the lake and we spent a week frolicking in the water, playing in the sand, eating delicious food, and quarantining ourselves in the most wonderfully safe way. Before we even left, my husband had booked us a return visit over Labor Day weekend and we literally counted down the days from the second we got home until this last weekend. Read all about our first trip to Spring Lake HERE.

I mean…how could we NOT want to return when this was our backyard???

(For another video of this gorgeous view, check out my video on THIS POST)

I spent this last trip reading The Lies That Bind {Emily Giffin}(affiliate). It was the only book that I read while I was there and finished about 2 hours before we left to come home. I will have my full review posted later this week!

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I present to you…the best meal of the trip. Village Baker PERFECTION. We ate there not once, not twice, but THREE times over a 2 day span. IT’S SO DELICIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL THERE. One of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. Absolutely love it there.

2 eggs, cheddar cheese, grilled Asiago cheese scone. And heaven. Little bits of heaven sprinkled in throughout. Omgggggg…..

We found a gorgeous bike trail in Hart, Michigan. Stunning bike ride AND every street sign has a heart on it?! My dream town 🙂

Back at our cottage, my husband and my kids spent hours fishing and caught so many fish! My choice: The Lies That Bind > squirming, bloody fish.

Meanwhile…

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My favorite Amazon product traveled with me!

Early morning reading by the lake while everyone else was still sleeping. THE BEST.

View from outside the kitchen window. So breathtaking, right? See that chair and table? Still set up from my reading scenario the previous day. LOVE.

Wouldn’t be a vacation without me noticing the local library as we drove past, lol.

I saw these earrings in a gorgeous beachside boutique and I think they might be the best thing I’ve ever seen. The Golden Girls! The Clintons! Donald Trump! Rebecca and Jack Pearson! Macaulay Culkin! Meghan and Harry! Justin Bieber! The cast of Friends! Justin Timberlake! Beyonce and Jay Z! Taylor Swift! Omgggggggggggg

Kim and Kayne! I WAS DYING.

Love this sign so, so much.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. IT’S NOT HARD, PEOPLE.

This was actually our 6th visit to beautiful Michigan and each time we come, we fall more and more in love with the picturesque beach towns, the gorgeous water, the friendly people, and the delicious food. 2 years ago, Jon and I came for 4 days all alone while my parents watched our kids. It was quiet, relaxing, and lovely! You can read about that trip HERE.

During that trip 2 years ago, I came across the cutest coffee mug in one of the stores in Grand Haven. I even took a picture with it:

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I’m not sure why I didn’t buy it but that mug has literally haunted me for the past 2 years. When we were shopping in downtown Grand Haven this past July, I was determined to figure out which store I found it at and to see if by some miracle they still had it! I described the store to another shop owner in the area who immediately told me where the shop was located. I was so excited! I went straight there…and discovered that half of it is now a dog products store (??) and the other half is now a toy store…and although they DID randomly have tons of mugs, none were mine. I even sat there and went through EVERY. SINGLE. MUG. BOX. in search of my special mug. Nothing. The man working gave me the name of another store down the strip which had bought lots of the goods from the store when it was divided up. So….I dragged my family to yet ANOTHER store in search of my mug. Found the store, did not find the mug. I went into a bunch of other stores on the strip in hopes that THEY might have it and…nothing. I was brokenhearted but accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Fast forward 2 months later and we were in the brand new to us town of Pentwater, Michigan (side note: LOVED THIS TOWN). My daughter and I were walking through an adorably cluttered store where you literally had to look evvvvvvvvverywhere because there was so much to look at. I spy old school trolls (the BEST) on the ceiling!

So her and I were walking along when suddenly…

I grabbed her arm and just stared. She followed my eyes and exclaimed, “CUP OF HAPPY!” This mug is even more beautiful than the original and so much more “me”. Totally meant to be. SOLD. I have happily used it every single day since we’ve been back.

Best, happiest souvenir. Literally brings me such joy when I use it! Totally worth the 2 year wait.

Thank you, Michigan, for once again providing our family with the very best memories. Already trying to figure out when we can return!

I hope you had a lovely long Labor Day weekend! I’ll have my review of The Lies That Bind posted later this week!

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