“Unknown” Books Can be Gems and a Book Review: Deliver Her {Patricia Perry Donovan}

Thank you all so much for your kind words and messages from my last post.  My kids and I are all feeling much better…aaaaaand now my husband is sick.  When it rains it pours, right?  Ridiculous.  He’s much better today but the past 2 days have been bad!  The silver lining in all of this is that I no longer blame my beloved Chinese restaurant and I can now officially say that I can’t wait to go back!  PHEW.

On a side note…today officially marks 1 week since we have have Chinese food in this house.  I truly think this must be some type of record for Jon and I!  Even when we go on vacation, we usually end of finding a local Chinese restaurant at some point on our trip, lol.  This is just madness.  Must rectify this issue with some pot stickers STAT.

Book Review:

Today’s book is a perfect reminder that there are BILLIONS of wonderful books out there.  It’s easy to forget this when so much of what we tend to read comes from recommendations, best sellers, etc.  Sometimes the little unknown books are the gems!

I randomly found this book on a shelf as I was walking through the library.  I had never heard of it, never heard of the author, but it sounded interesting to me so I gave it a shot.  I’m so glad that I did!

deliverher

Synopsis from Goodreads:

On the night of Alex Carmody’s sixteenth birthday, she and her best friend, Cass, are victims of a terrible car accident. Alex survives; Cass doesn’t. Consumed by grief, Alex starts cutting school and partying, growing increasingly detached. The future she’d planned with her friend is now meaningless to her.

Meg Carmody is heartbroken for her daughter, even as she’s desperate to get Alex’s life back on track. The Birches, a boarding school in New Hampshire, promises to do just that, yet Alex refuses to go. But when Meg finds a bag of pills hidden in the house, she makes a fateful call to a transporter whose company specializes in shuttling troubled teens to places like The Birches, under strict supervision. Meg knows Alex will feel betrayed—as will her estranged husband, who knows nothing of Meg’s plans for their daughter.

When the transport goes wrong—and Alex goes missing—Meg must face the consequences of her decision and her deception. But the hunt for Alex reveals that Meg is not the only one keeping secrets.

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)

4 Stars

This book was GREAT.  I absolutely truly couldn’t put it down!  I remember reading it one night while my husband was out with one of his friends for dinner.  I was literally glued to my couch all night reading this!

My heart was truly pounding while reading parts of this…love when that happens! There was cliffhanger after cliffhanger…so many different stories, so many different perspectives, so many reasons I couldn’t stop reading.

I really loved this book and highly recommend it!  It was a quick read…I read it over the course of a few days.  It completely held my interest from page 1 with it’s intense story lines and interesting characters.  EXCELLENT book.

Bottom Line:

Give the unknown books a shot…you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Do you ever read “unknown” books or do you only read books based on recommendations, best sellers, etc.?

Did you read this book?  What did you think? 

What’s an example of an “unknown” book that you have read and loved?

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

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

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

Book Review: The Other Woman {Sandie Jones}

Oh do I have a great book for you today!  AND…another VLOG!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

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.  LOVED.  IT.

I had been waiting for months to read this book and it did not disappoint!  I FLEW through this book.  Short chapters always make me want to keep reading.  Combine them with a fantastic storyline and I was hooked!  This book was AWESOME.  Quick, easy to read, and wonderful.  All in all, it was great and I would absolutely recommend it.

That being said, I do have some criticism.  It’s impossible to talk about what I didn’t love without giving anything away!  I try REALLY hard to keep spoilers off my blog (more on why I do this HERE).  So…I made a video on my new YouTube channel openly discussing my thoughts including spoilers! Enjoy 🙂

*WHY OH WHY does YouTube keep thinking that these are lovely screenshots of me?!?!?*

Bottom Line:

Read it.  Enjoy it.  Devour it.

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

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

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

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why {Jay Asher}

Our kitchen is leaking, our family room is leaking, our garbage disposal is thankfully back to normal although our dishwasher still isn’t working and hasn’t worked in 3 days all because of a frozen pipeline.

Polar Vortex 2019, I loathe you.

BUT the 4 of us went to the grocery store last night and it felt great just to be out of the house!  This has been such an insane week and our poor house just couldn’t handle it.  I’m driving my daughter to and from school again today because the thought of putting her on a bus in this weather doesn’t sit well with me.  It’s better out there….but still freezing!

You know it’s been a bit chilly when you check your weather app, it says it’s currently 3 degrees, and you immediately think it’s warming up!  Omg.

Today I have a review of a book I read a while back and still think about.  It’s message was well written, powerful, and important.

thirteenreasonswhy

Synopsis from Goodreads:

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

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)

4 Stars

Couldn’t.  Put.  It.  Down.

This book was interesting, heartbreaking, fascinating, and memorable.  I read it over the course of just a few days and would sneak in pages whenever I had a free moment.  I had to know what was going to happen next!

The entire premise of this book is piecing together the pieces of the puzzle to create the entire picture.  As more and more details begin to unfold, the reader is introduced to new characters, new situations, and new revelations.  I loved the writing style and how the author told the entire story in such a unique way and through so many different perspectives.

If you enjoy YA (young adult fiction), this is absolutely a book that you should read.

There is a Netflix series based upon this book.  I haven’t seen any of the episodes…Have you?

Bottom Line:

Loved it.  Disturbing topic but so well written.

Stay warm, everyone!

Xo,

Jenny

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

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Play Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

*I’ll be running a special weekend storytime this Sunday at 4:00!  It’s Whimsy Play Cafe’s 1 month anniversary and I will be doing a “whimsical” Dr. Seuss themed storytime!  I would love to see you and your little book lovers there!*

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

Book Review: Swear on This Life {Renee Carlino}

Oh do I have a lovely book for you today!  I honestly adored everything about this beautiful book.  If you haven’t read this one yet, you are in for such a treat!

swearonthislife

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

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

This is one absolutely beautiful book.  I loved everything about it from the first to the last page.

The characters, the settings, the plot, all of it…just beautiful.  So well written, so well developed.  Both stories told in this book (present and past) were equally interesting and captivating.  Usually I prefer one story to the other but not in this case…they both held my attention and kept me interested the entire time.

I couldn’t imagine how Carlino would be able to tie all of the complicated aspects of these 2 stories up in the end and she did it perfectly!  I loved the ending….and the middle….and the beginning.

I highly, highly recommend this book.  You will love it and and won’t be able to stop thinking about it long after you finish reading.

Bottom Line:

Beautiful.  In every way.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Donna Baier Stein Instagram giveaway will be posted shortly!  

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

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

Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers {Liane Moriarty}

Hi!

I am writing this from the peace and quiet of my living room. Husband at work, both kids back at school after winter break. Candle burning, Pandora playing. It’s so peaceful here on this rainy Monday morning.

I’m missing my family today. I haven’t been home alone like this in weeks! As nice and peaceful as this is….I would so much rather have everyone here with me. This morning it’s just me and the hamster.  And she’s sleeping.  Perfect time to work on my blog!

And now as previously promised…the book review of Liane Moriarty’s newest release:

**If you haven’t yet, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading the following review**

I heard such negative things about this book. In fact, I truly hadn’t heard any positive! So when I began reading, needless to say my expectations weren’t very high. Not high at all.

nineperfectstrangers

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

My Thoughts

4 Stars

I loved it.

Yes it was weird. Yes it was dark. Yes it was twisted.  Yes it made me uncomfortable.  But…It was so brilliantly written, so very interesting, and extremely captivating! The short chapters, the different perspectives, and the colorful characters came together to create a fascinating story.  I high recommend this one!  I know I’m in the minority here but I truly thought it was GREAT.  One of the best books she’s written.  Bravo, Liane!

The ONLY real criticism (and hence my 4 star review) I have is that there are just so many characters and as a result, certain characters were much more developed than others. It was hard to keep everyone straight, especially with their backstories. I found that I had to keep looking back at previous chapters for refreshers. I HATE when books make me do that. I think this book would have been better with say 5 or 6 perfect strangers rather than 9.

Bottom Line

After reading, I now never want to go to a health resort. Like…Ever. You shouldn’t, either. Nope. Not for me. Or you. Ever again. Hard pass.

Have you read this book?  Are you planning to?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

I will have FANTASTIC book giveaway for you on Wednesday morning!  Make sure you stop by, you won’t want to miss this one!

Xo,

Jenny

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

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

My Love/Hate Relationship with Liane Moriarty

Oh Liane. You and I have such a complicated relationship. At times I absolutely love you, at times I absolutely loathe you.

*This post contains affiliate links. Click each image and link below to read the synopsis and 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*

2014 was when I read The Husband’s Secret .  Like most people, I absolutely loved it!  Truly couldn’t put it down.  I have a very vivid memory of my daughter napping in her car seat while I was devouring this book for hours in the front seat…all while parked in our driveway.  Such a good book!  I was so sad when it ended.

The next book that I read was Big Little Lies.  I read it in 3 days, it was so amazing.   I remember eating meals while reading, reading long after I should have been asleep, and so many other times throughout the day.

(On a side note, I still haven’t seen the HBO miniseries!  Have you?  I’ve heard it’s fantastic!)

At was at this point that I declared Liane Moriarty to be my favorite author and my mission began to read every single book she had written.

Next up for me was The Last Anniversary. I really liked it. Not nearly as amazing as the previous 2, but it was very good.

And then…

I read Three Wishes.

Hated it. So much. It was just so BORING, painfully dull, and long.  I faithfully read until the last sentence because I had already declared Liane Moriarty to be my favorite author and how could I not read every word written by my favorite author??

My faith in Liane was 100 percent restored when I read What Alice Forgot. What a beautiful book that was! It gave me so much to think about and I truly loved everything about it.  Have you read this book?  I highly, highly recommend it!  I still think about that book’s message years after I finished reading.  Absolutely loved that book. Beautiful.

I read The Hypnotist’s Love Story during the summer of 2015. I was bored. Read half. Never finished.

HOWEVER, this was also the time when I was pregnant with my son and unless it was something about babies, breastfeeding, or nursery furniture, I wasn’t able to focus on reading anything else.  Looking back, I’m not sure if my review of this book is entirely valid. I probably should re read it at some point now that I can give it the full attention that it deserves….but I just remember being so bored with the first half that I don’t have the desire to try again.  Have you read this book all the way until the end?  What did you think?

When Liane announced that she was releasing her newest book (Truly Madly Guilty) in 2016, I immediately preordered my copy on Amazon. It arrived exactly on its release day and I literally tore the box as I ripped it open! I even wrote a Facebook status asking if anyone could get over here STAT to watch my children and dog so I could sit and read (nobody did. Apparently I need some new friends).

I hated that book. It was heartbreaking, depressing, and awful. Her attempts to lighten the story fell flat. I was so sad…I had been REALLY excited about reading this one for months. How could she do this to me???

And here we are, today. January 2019. Liane released her newest book Nine Perfect Strangers in October. The whole world seems to be reading this book right now! Have you read it?  I have. I have many thoughts. I’ll share them with you on Monday!

How do you feel about Liane Moriarty?

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on her books?

Xo,

Jenny

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

**GIVEAWAY** (3 Copies, Open to International and US Readers) Oh My Stars {Sally Kilpatrick}

Happy Friday!

Today is my daughter’s last day of school before winter break.  I will be wearing my PTO President hat and helping with all of the classroom holiday parties!

There is nothing quite like being in a school on the last day before winter break…all of the excited energy in the air translates into very excited and happy children (and teachers)!  When I was a teacher, the last day before winter break was always one of my favorite days of the entire school year!  I’m so happy that I get to still be a part of this day by helping out at my daughter’s wonderful school.  She LOVES when I come in to help and so do I!  I am incredibly thankful that I often have the opportunity to do so. 🙂

I have such a fun and festive giveaway for you today!

This is the perfect time of year to read this holiday book. I love reading holiday books during the season in which they are occurring.  If you win a copy, I would suggest reading it right away or tucking it away to read during next year’s holiday season.  You will be glad that you did. 🙂

Synopsis from Amazon:

A heartwarming, hilarious Christmas story with a Southern twist.

Like most things in Ellery, Tennessee, this year’s Drive Thru Nativity is a little unconventional. The Dollar General parking lot doubles as a Bethlehem stable, and widowed writer Ivy Long, who’s been roped into playing Mary, sure as heck isn’t a virgin. But then comes an unexpected development: a genuine, real-life baby left in the manger, with only a brief note. And somehow, in the kerfuffle that follows, Ivy finds her life is about to change . . .

The holidays are a bittersweet time for Ivy—filled with memories of her beloved late husband and reminders that life doesn’t always offer the happily-ever-afters her readers expect. So when Ivy ends up with custody of the baby, she can only chalk it up to a Christmas miracle. She doesn’t know if it will be forever, but with help from family, she’ll make little Zuzu’s first Christmas a good one. The nativity’s Joseph, aka Gabe Ledbetter, has a pediatrics background that’s coming in mighty handy. In turn, Ivy is helping Gabe find his place in the quirky community. If that place turns out to be somewhere near Ivy, well, maybe this particular Christmas story will turn out to be merry and bright after all…

My Thoughts

Did you see my Instagram story a few weeks ago about this adorable book?  If not, here is what you missed:

Today is the day!

Being that I’m Jewish, it was fun for me to experience some parts of Christmas that I previously really didn’t know much about.  Icicles (tinsel) on the tree!  Nativity scenes!  I found myself Googling these terms to learn more.  Loved it!  So interesting to me.  Now when I drive by nativity scenes, I have an entirely new appreciation for them.

The characters in this story and the description of Ellery, Tennessee were so extremely colorful…I couldn’t help but thinking many times as I was reading what a fun movie this could be!  A perfect feel good holiday film.  Hallmark channel, perhaps?

I was especially interested in learning more about the complex relationship between Ivy and her family as well as the relationship between Gabe and his.  The great amount of history within both families and learning about how the pasts of these 2 people formed them into the people that they are today was quite interesting.

This book is adorable and such a quick, light read.  I laughed, I cried, I smiled all while reading.  You will, too!

A conversation with Sally Kilpatrick, in her own words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

My editor at the time, Peter, asked me if I would like to write a Christmas book, and I said yes because I love Christmas. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of featuring a drive-thru Nativity. I could see all of these people in the parts and a menagerie of odd animals, and then I could envision an abandoned baby and how caring for that child made the others really think about their lives in general and Christmas in particular.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

My audience seems to be predominantly women who like stories with a happy ending. Also, folks who like small town, southern stories tend to like my work–that’s where I pick up some of the guys. If you love Christmas movies, then I think you’ll love this book. It is full of references to other movies, stories, and Christmas traditions.

Where can your book be purchased?

Oh My Stars is actually in many Targets right now and Sam’s Club. It can also be ordered–either paperback or e version–from all of the major retailers. There are some signed copies at Foxtale Book Shoppe and Marietta book Exchange, too.

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

quirky, heartwarming, funny

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

Oh My Stars is my 5th novel set in Ellery, Tennessee. If you enjoy it, please feel free to go back and enjoy some of my other small town southern stories. You can find me as @Superwritermom on Twitter or at sallykilpatrick.com.

***GIVEAWAY***

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this adorable story?

(For the record, I wrote how I would love to see this book become a Hallmark movie even before I received Sally’s response mentioning that if you love Christmas movies, you will love this book!  Just goes to show that if Christmas movies are your jam, this is a perfect book for you!)

I have THREE copies of Oh My Stars (An Ellery Novel) (affiliate) to give away!  THREE!

If located in the US, your autographed book will be mailed directly to you. If located internationally, an “e book” will be emailed directly to you!

  To be entered, please complete these 3 simple steps:

1. Follow and/or subscribe to my blog

2. Leave a comment below telling me only ONE word to describe the  holiday season

3. Be sure to also tell me in your comment if you are located internationally or in the US!

**You must complete all 3 of these steps to be eligible for the giveaway**

Giveaway will end on Monday morning a 6:00 CDT and the 3 winners will be randomly chosen and announced in Monday morning’s blog post.

Make sure you check back on Monday 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!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

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