An Honest Book Review (Positives and Negatives) of a Currently Popular Book

Book Bloggers everywhere are loving this book and it’s been on my radar for months to read! My review of this one is a bit complicated…there were parts of it that I loved and parts of it that I did not. This book was recently released in mid August and I was fortunate to receive an Advance Reader’s Copy.  It’s currently such a popular book…I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and to start reading!

Before I go into my review, just a few random shapshots of my life:

I dropped off my son at preschool this morning and when I got back to my car, I realized that I had left my coffee in his classroom.  Oh HELL no!  I couldn’t get back into that building fast enough!  As I was frantically running to get back inside, I passed another mom who pointed out the irony of the shirt that I just so happen to be wearing today:

Truth.

My kids attended a birthday party yesterday and after we left my daughter turned the crayon box party favor into a tiny book!  Love her creativity!

And now, a book review.  Have you read this?  I’m truly not sure how I feel about it.

Things You Save in a Fire By Katherine Center (affiliate)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

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)

3.5 Stars

Man is this a tough review to write as my thoughts on this book are so scattered.

First and foremost, it’s a beautiful book with so many beautiful messages.  It’s a very easy read.  I found myself fascinated in learning about firefighters and about the aspects of their jobs in which I really had no idea.

That being said, I do feel this book lacks some pretty major character and storyline development.  I just wanted MORE of everything!

There was one major storyline that I really disagreed with and it bothered me throughout the entire story.

I felt that this book was a bit cheesy, predictable, and unrealistic at times…

HOWEVER, I honestly did enjoy it.  I found myself smiling more than once as I was reading.  I even posted on Instagram how much I was loving it! That’s the problem…just when I would start to really love it, I would become bored by it.  My feelings were completely inconsistent the deeper into the book I got.

I wouldn’t say that this was a book I couldn’t wait to pick up each day (except for those few intense chapters toward the end…those chapters were GREAT!  I wish the rest of the book would have held my interest as those few chapters did).

I laughed, I cried (tears down face), I smiled, and…I was bored.  All while reading the same book.

Have any of you read this???  Please comment below…I’d so love to hear your thoughts.

I told you my review of this one is a bit complicated and all over the place 😉

Bottom Line:

Would I recommend this book?  Yes!  Would it be high on my list of recommendations?  No.

Xo,

Jenny

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

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Book Review: How To Find Love In A Bookshop {Veronica Henry}

This book was sitting on a shelf at the library with the front cover facing outward. I walked past, saw the title, and that alone was enough to make me want to read more! A title which contains both the words love AND bookshop?!  Sign me up!  I’d never heard of this book or of this author…but I was intrigued enough to take it home with me and I’m so glad that I did.  I read it and now I have so many thoughts.  There were definitely parts of it that I LOVED…aaaaaaaand then there were parts of it that I didn’t.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The enchanting story of a bookshop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart

Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers–a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive.

There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage–she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings.

Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future–and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.

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)

3.5 Stars

I’m conflicted with my review of this book.  I loved it…truly!  I thought it was sweet, charming, heartwarming, and lovely.

But I just never felt like picking it up to read it.  Ever.

In all fairness, I started reading this book as soon as I finished this one.  Now THAT book was one that I couldn’t put down and I read it over the course of a few days.  The genres of these 2 books are so completely different but it’s hard to dive right into a book like this one after just finishing a book like that one.  I usually love switching genres before starting a new read but I think this might have just been too great of a switch.  Does that make sense?  Has this ever happened to you?

Of course this lovely book wasn’t suspenseful…it wasn’t supposed to be!  But after just finishing one which quite literally had me on the edge of my seat, this one just felt…a bit…too calm.

The sheer amount of characters in this book were insane.  There were WAY too many characters, WAY too many story lines, and WAY too much jumping around from one to the other!  Just as I was really starting to fall into a story line, the story lines would change and honestly many of them were predictable and unrealistic.  I also didn’t love the endings of more than 1 story line.

HOWEVER…

Despite my issues with this book, it truly is a gem. It’s sweet, touching, and overall just lovely. I teared up quite a few times while reading!

Nightingale Books sounds so charming! If that store were in my neighborhood I would be in there everyday. If you are a book lover like I am, hearing all about Nightingale Books will be your favorite part of this book.  In fact, the entire town of Peasebrook sounds just lovely!  I Googled it and learned that it’s not a real town.  I wish it were, I would so love to visit such a cute and special little corner of the world. 🙂

If you are looking for an easy, lighthearted book…this is a good one!

I truly wonder if my review would have been different had I not just finished such an intense psychological thriller right before I picked this one up?

Bottom Line:

It’s got some issues…but overall I truly did enjoy it!  Also, any book which focuses on an charming independent bookstore is absolutely a book worth reading.

Xo,

Jenny

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

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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

“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