4 Fantastic Books I Recently Bought

4 Fantastic Books I Recently Bought

Last week my family and I took the most lovely getaway to Galena, IL. You can see pictures from our beautiful trip HERE.

We had rented a house right on the water with a massive wrap around porch. The whole scene was just begging for someone to read a book there! I happily obliged 😉

I came home refreshed, relaxed, and of course with plenty of souvenirs. Somehow 4 new books came home with me!

Fantastic Book #1:

We spent one morning visiting Dubuque, IA and the very best part of that morning was visiting the most wonderful local bookstore. River Lights is such a charming bookstore and the beautiful lady working and I had the most lovely conversation discussing books. When we left she told me that she enjoyed our visit…so did I 🙂 If you are ever in the area, I HIGHLY recommend visiting this charming bookstore!

Dead body in front of the thriller section!

When I spotted Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years on the shelf, I knew that I wanted to purchase it…I absolutely love supporting independent bookstores, especially one as wonderful as this.

This book has been on my TBR list for what feels like forever. I started reading it on our last night of our amazing trip and I finished it a few days ago. I’ll have my review posted for you soon!

How stunning is this cover?

In Five Years {Rebecca Serle}

Goodreads Synopsis of In Five Years {Rebecca Serle}

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Fantastic Book #2:

When I see a sign like this…I get very, very excited.

Obviously I knew I had to visit and that amazing store did not disappoint! I could have spent hours in that store, omg.

So many rooms and so many nooks all covered in books! A dream!

I had posted this on Instagram:

I saw Primates of Park Avenue on the shelf and I was reminded that I had wanted to read it when it first came out. It reminds me of The Nanny Diaries which I LOVED when I read it almost 20 (!!!) years ago! I’m a bit nervous because I usually HATE reading memoirs (even if they ARE written by Michelle Obama. You can see my thoughts on her book HERE) but…I do think this one sounds great???

Primates of Park Avenue {Wednesday Martin}

Goodreads Synopsis of Primates of Park Avenue {Wednesday Martin}:

Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe.

After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place. She understood the other mothers’ snobbiness at school drop-off when she compared them to olive baboons. Her obsessional quest for a Hermes Birkin handbag made sense when she realized other females wielded them to establish dominance in their troop. And so she analyzed tribal migration patterns, display rituals, physical adornment, mutilation, mating practices, extra-pair copulation, and more. Her conclusions are smart, thought-provoking, and hilariously unexpected.

Every city has its Upper East Side, and in Wednesday’s memoir, readers everywhere will recognize the strange cultural codes of powerful social hierarchies and the compelling desire to climb them. They will also see that Upper East Side mothers want the same things for their children that all mothers want: safety, happiness, and success;and not even sky-high penthouses and chauffeured SUVs can protect this ecologically released tribe from the universal experiences of anxiety and loss. When Wednesday’s life turns upside down, she learns how deep the bonds of female friendship really are.

Intelligent, funny, and heartfelt, Primates of Park Avenue lifts a veil on a secret, elite world within a world: the exotic, fascinating, and strangely familiar culture of privileged Manhattan motherhood.
 

Fantastic Book #3:

Driving home from Galena, we stopped in Rockford, IL for lunch and my husband suddenly spotted the MECCA.

He immediately turned into the parking lot, dropped me off, and took the kids for dessert so I could have time to browse all by myself. HELL YES. It was AWESOME in there. I must get back there asap!

One of my favorite Bookstagrammers/bloggers, Jenna Stop Reading, absolutely LOVES this book and has convinced me that I need to read it. I LOVED Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young so I’m excited to read this one (if you haven’t read Young Jane Young, you must! HERE is a link to it’s synopsis and my review….one of the very first blog posts I ever wrote!)

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry {Gabrielle Zevin}

Goodreads Synopsis of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry {Gabrielle Ziven}:

As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

We are not quite novels.

We are not quite short stories.

In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. 

Fantastic Book #4:

While at the Half Price Books Outlet, I randomly came across this book on the clearance shelf. I had never heard of it but think it sounds great! And it was $1.00 so…

Lost and Found {Carolyn Parkhurst}

Goodreads Synopsis of Lost and Found {Carolyn Parkhurst}:

A gentle satire on reality TV, as a mother and daughter face numerous challenges both on and off the show. As the game escalates, tensions mount, temptations beckon, and the bonds between teammates begin to fray. The question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost?

What do a suburban mom and her troubled daughter, two recently divorced brothers, a pair of former child stars, born-again Christian newlyweds, and a couple of young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, a daring new reality TV show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe – from Egypt to Japan, from Sweden to England – to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play.

What starts as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. Before long the question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.

Have you read any of these 4 books? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, X
o




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

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Book Review: 28 Summers {Elin Hilderbrand} AKA The Book I Couldn’t Put Down

I put Elin Hilderbrand’s 28 Summers on hold at my library in JULY and last week….my copy FINALLY was ready for me! I couldn’t get to the library fast enough and put all other books on the back burner for the chance to finally read this one. I have been DYING to get my hands on a copy to read and review. I pretty much knew that I would love it because evvvvveryone loves it but little did I know that this would be one of the best books I’ve EVER read. Truly couldn’t put this book down!

Goodreads Synopsis of 28 Summers {Elin Hilderbrand}:

When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere — through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise — until Mallory learns she’s dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love. 

My Review of 28 Summers {Elin Hilderbrand}:

EVERYONE I know loves this book and I was so curious to see what the hype was all about. Would it be worth the 4 month wait???

WORTH. THE. 4. MONTH. WAIT.

Oh this book…I absolutely DEVOURED it. Started with page 1 on Friday and finished page 414 page on Monday. I wanted to read it and yet wanted to savor it all at the same time. The writing in this book is absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t put it down.

This book takes place over the course of 28 years (and actually a bit more) and it’s such a complicated journey filled with so many characters. Having so many characters is usually a huge pet peeve of mine but it was necessary and so well written in this book! It truly added to the richness of this complicated story.

Each new chapter begins with a small recap of the most popular and newsworthy items and people of that particular year. I. LOVED. THIS. It was an instant flashback to my own life and where my own life was during that time in history. Made me feel so connected to the time frame of this story.

I absolutely loved this book. I have not stopped thinking of these characters since I finished reading.

However…

As much as I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book, I must say 2 things. 1. Infidelity is wrong and I really wish that Jake was’t married although I do understand the dimension it brought to the overall story. 2. I wish this book didn’t have a prologue.

OK, there. I said them (and neither is a spoiler). Other than those 2 details, this book is literary perfection. Moving on…

The movie “Same Time Next Year” is referenced A LOT in this book. For those interested, here is the trailer.  I think the movie actually looks…weird, lol.  Have any of you seen it?

I love Elin Hilderbrand SO MUCH! Have you read the “Winter Street” series? They are wonderful and this is the PERFECT time of year to read them as they take place during the holiday season! I loved them so much and I LOVED that she casually mentioned these beautiful characters in 28 Summers! Did anyone else catch it??? You can read my review of the “Winter Street” series HERE. Another wonderful book by Elin Hilderbrand is THIS BOOK . I read that one years ago but for some reason never reviewed it? I loved it! I have now read 6 of Elin Hilderbrand’s books and have loved them all. I must read more of them ASAP! And…I must visit Nantucket. STAT. The way she describes it throughout each of her books makes it sound absolutely magical! Although at this point in the pandemic, visiting the grocery store feels absolutely magical sooooo….???

Bottom Line:

28 Summers is truly one of the best books I’ve ever read. These characters will stay in my heart for a VERY long time…

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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

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

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What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Read, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #18) {Book Coffee Happy}

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW! 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!

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What Are You Currently Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.


When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear? 

I started reading this one yesterday! I’ll post my review once I finish!

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere — through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise — until Mallory learns she’s dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love. 

I still need a few days to recover from a massive book hangover from this book before I start working on my review. Omg. I’ll post it once I stop sobbing. Spoiler: I. LOVED. IT.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve. 

So I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll read this book next but maybe? I have a huge stack of library books here and this one has been on my radar for awhile, I’ve heard it’s fantastic!

Have you read any of these 3 books? What did you think (no spoilers)? What are you currently reading? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click on the images below to order through my Amazon 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!*

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

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Book Review: The Loyal Wife {Natalie Barelli}

On our first 2020 trip to Michigan, you might remember that I found the most wonderful used bookstore. I could have spent HOURS in that store! I didn’t have much time that day to browse, but I did have time to find 1 book that I thought sounded great. I had read Natalie Barelli’s The Housekeeper earlier this year (you can read my review HERE) and was happy to find The Loyal Wife sitting on a shelf! **Random fact: My review of The Housekeeper continues to be one of the highest viewed blog posts I’ve ever written and I’m not entirely sure why, lol???** ANYWAY, I was so excited to discover another Natalie Barelli book and to read and review it on the blog.

The cover promises “a gripping psychological thriller with a twist”….Ummm YES please!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Loyal Wife {Natalie Barelli}:

She thought they had the perfect marriage…

Tamra never dreamed she would marry someone like Mike Mitchell: handsome, rich, a wonderful husband… until she finds out that Mike is having an affair.

But Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Mike Mitchell should have remembered that before he made a fool of her.

Because Tamra knows something about Mike. Something he did. Something evil. And she was prepared to carry the secret to her grave.

Not anymore.

To make matters worse, Mike’s daughter Madison has come to visit for a few days, and Madison doesn’t like Tamra. Well, that’s too bad, because Tamra doesn’t have time to argue. She’s too busy ruining Mike’s life while remaining, on the surface at least, the perfect, loyal wife.

But when Tamra’s plan spirals out of control, she finds that things are not what they seem.

And now, it’s too late. 

My Thoughts on The Loyal Wife {Natalie Barelli}:

Do you remember a few months back when I was trying to figure out The Great WordPress Disaster (aka Block Format)?  It took me weeks to understand it enough to be able to once again write and upload blog posts, it was so frustrating.  Something else that was frustrating during that time was that I was reading LOTS of books and therefore am STILL behind on uploading my reviews to my blog from those few weeks!  Grrrr…..

The Loyal Wife is one of the books that I was reading during that stupid, crazy time. I was so excited to read it!

So here’s the thing. It wasn’t THAT long ago and yet…I can’t really remember anything about this book, this storyline, or these characters. Not great for a book review blogger, huh?!?

I remember thinking that I LIKED this book but I didn’t LOVE this book. I also remember thinking that parts were a bit too predictable.

There are books that I read YEARS ago which have left such an impression on me that I can easily tell you details on characters, storylines, etc. A few examples would be THIS BOOK, THIS BOOK, and THIS BOOK. Clearly The Loyal Wife will not be on that list for me. The storylines and characters clearly weren’t significant enough to stick with me even just a few months later. Eh.

Bottom Line:

I’m happy that I purchased this book from a used bookstore because supporting small businesses is SO important. As for the book itself…eh…clearly not my best purchase 😉

If any local friends would like my copy, I can leave it on my front porch for you! Free to a good home 🙂 First come, first served! Maybe you’ll love it (and will remember it) more than I did?

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!*

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

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

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

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

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My Thoughts on Past Seasons of The Bachelor and a Book Review: One To Watch {Kate Stayman London}

I have watched The Bachelor since season 1. The year was 2002 and I very much remember laying on the couch in my parents’ house as my mom and I watched Alex Michel attempt to find love on national tv. I remember I was eating peanut butter straight from the jar (20 years later and my obsession with peanut butter is stronger than ever…in fact, I’m drinking a spinach/banana/peanut butter smoothie as I type this, lol). 1 episode of The Bachelor and I. WAS. HOOKED. 18 years later and my love for The Bachelor remains strong. In honor of the new season of The Bachelorette premiering on TUESDAY (finnnnnnnnally), today’s blog post includes a whole bunch of my random thoughts on The Bachelor AND a book review of One to Watch by Kate Stayman London.

Some random Bachelor/Bachelorette thoughts from past seasons:

I literally do everything that I can to avoid spoilers. I stop visiting my favorite reality show websites, turn off the radio as soon as they mention the possibility of a discussion (this applied more to when I was teaching and had a commute…now I just listen to Pandora, lol), etc.. I absolutely have blocked and even unfriended people on Facebook when they post spoilers! Side note: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP POSTING TV SPOILERS ON FACEBOOK! NOT EVERYONE IS CAUGHT UP ON THE SAME TELEVISION SHOWS AS YOU ARE OR CARES TO READ ANY SPOILERS EVEN IF THEY ARE ALL CAUGHT UP! ***Insert MAJOR eye roll here***

One of my all time favorite couples EVER was Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft. Oh they were so cute! I loved Andrew’s season, I thought he was so handsome.

My current favorite couple is Arie and Lauren (follow them on Instagram and YouTube, they are adorable)! I know, I know…his breakup with Becca was BAD but I have always loved Arie ever since Emily’s season (and I LOVED Emily’s season!)

My very favorite Bachelorette ever was Ashley although I think I might be the only person in America who feels this way.

I really don’t enjoy watching any season until about 5 episodes in. Too many guys in the beginning and too hard to remember who is who! I like it best when it’s down to the final 5-10 guys and I can start rooting for my favorites.

I feel like the caliber of the bachelors has so dramatically changed over time. In the beginning they were always wealthy, successful, gorgeous, etc. Now they…aren’t. I really started to notice this when Farmer Chris was the bachelor…Ummm he seemed nice and all but worth fighting over and quite possibly humiliating yourself on National television for? I think not.

I hate watching The Woman Tell All and also After the Final Rose (although I always do watch both). I just like watching the regular episodes, I don’t need the backstories. Except for when Arie and Becca broke up. I was legit GLUED to the screen during that aftershow! It was so amazing.

I hate, hate, hate the group dates ESPECIALLY when they have the girls play any type of sports! So boring. Side note: I think pretty much all sports are boring in real life…the LAST thing I want to watch on The Bachelor is any type of sport!

My favorite part of any season are the 2 on 1 dates where 1 person gets sent home…always the best drama during those. I also love hometowns.

Why does every season include a private concert by some weird unknown band that the lead pretends to actually know and be excited about? So weird.

I literally remember nothing about Charlie O’Connell’s season except that I remember LOVING him?

I liked Peter during his season but…Kelley? Really???

I adore Chris Harrison and I was alllll over the rumor a few years ago that once he announced his divorce that he could have been the next Bachelor. That would have been AMAZING. I also loved the Kris Jenner Bachelorette rumor 🙂

This summer felt so weird not to have a Bachelorette and I can’t wait to tune in to Claire’s season! However…Claire??? WHY IS IT NOT HANNAH ANN???

So, I read a book a few weeks ago and it was like WATCHING AN ENTIRE SEASON! If you love the Bachelor as much as I do, keep reading…I’ve got an AWESOME book for you. If you hate The Bachelor, I’m gonna just say that you will want to stop reading this post now because this book is most definitely NOT for you, lol.

Goodreads Synopsis of One to Watch {Kate Stayman-London}:

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

My Review of One to Watch {Kate Stayman-London}:

After I finished reading this book, I FELT LIKE I JUST WATCHED A ENTIRE SEASON OF THE BACHELORETTE OVER JUST A FEW DAYS! How amazing!

I loved, loved, loved the various means of telling this story. Text chains, podcasts, blogs, emails, etc. It told this story in such a creative way and it gave this story such a deeper dimension as it was told in such creative ways.

I absolutely loved all of the Bachelor references and couldn’t believe how many of them there were…Chris Harrison’s iconic phrases (told by Johnny), the rose (kiss off) ceremony, even a Reality Steve type website was mentioned!

Just like in real seasons of The Bachelor, I didn’t always agree with Bea’s choices on the men that that she was choosing 🙂

I must say…filming the season in real time is BRILLIANT. Why haven’t the Bachelor producers caught on to this yet???

AS much fun as this book was to read, I do appreciate it’s deeper message. The Bachelor absolutely DOES need to highlight ALL people….and ALL body types. I love the show so much but it’s inclusivity is definitely severely lacking.

Bottom Line:

If you LOVE The Bachelor, you will LOVE this book! It’s wonderful.

Have you read this book? Do you watch The Bachelor? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Xo,

Jenny

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

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Book Review: Unfollow Me {Charlotte Duckworth}

As someone who LOVES to follow influencers on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Charlotte Duckworth’s Unfollow Me literally called my name from the library shelf (I randomly came across it on my recent trip to the INSIDE of my local library). As soon as I read the synopsis on this one, I knew that I couldn’t wait to read and review this book!

Synopsis from Goodreads of Unfollow Me {Charlotte Duckworth}:

You Can’t Stop Watching Her.

Violet Young is a hugely popular journalist-turned-mummy-vlogger, with three young children, a successful husband and a million subscribers on YouTube who tune in daily to watch her everyday life unfold.

Until the day she’s no longer there.

But one day she disappears from the online world – her entire social media presence deleted overnight, with no explanation. Has she simply decided that baring her life to all online is no longer a good idea, or has something more sinister happened to her?

But do you really know who Violet is?

Told from the perspectives of her most avid fans, obsessed with finding out the truth, their search quickly reveals a web of lies, betrayal, and shocking consequences…

My Thoughts on Unfollow Me {Charlotte Duckworth}:

Oh man my throughts on this book are a bit scattered…

I LOVED the speculation surrounding Violet’s disappearance and wish the whole book could have been just that.

I wasn’t nearly as into the story lines surrounding the 2 “fans” as their lives didn’t interest me as much as Violet’s did. Unfortunately a large portion of this book surrounded around these 2 women.

There is a mystery piece to this story where the reader is given tiny bits and pieces of various story lines throughout but nothing is fully explained until the end…which frankly I found more irritating than intriguing.

There were also timelines which were confusing and characters/story lines which were unnecessary.

HOWEVER, if you are a big fan of influencers like I am…there were many parts of this book that you will find interesting. I loved the forum where “fans” could discuss their thoughts on the missing YouTuber! I wish more of this book could have focused on that forum. PS Have you ever visited any of those forums in real life??? They are crazy and speculative and mean and…wonderful. I’ve never actually posted on them but I do LOVE to read them. People are INSANE on them, it’s fantastic. **Please don’t ask me which ones I read…I do not want to give them any press…but do some Internet searching, I’m sure you can find them on your own ;)**

Another positive thing about this book is that there were definitely a few twists that I most definitely did NOT see coming! Love when that happens.

Bottom Line:

If you love following influencers, this is absolutely a book you will want to read. If you don’t follow influencers…I would skip this book.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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

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

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Book Review: Scars Like Wings {Erin Stewart}

I love, love, love reading YA (young adult fiction). Some of the best books I’ve ever read have been YA (HERE is a link to one of my very favorites). When a dear friend of mine told me about Erin Stewart’s book, Scars Like Wings, I knew it was a YA book that I needed to read.

Synopsis from Goodreads of Scars Like Wings {Erin Stewart}:

Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.

A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.

But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.

My Thoughts on Scars Like Wings {Erin Stewart}:

Omg this book. It’s a BEAUTIFUL book. I sobbed, I smiled, I LOVED IT. Such a beautifully written story. It shattered my heart and filled my heart all at the exact same time.

This book is HEAVY, definitely not a light read. However, Erin Stewart took such heaviness and perfectly paired it with moments that made me smile through my tears.

There are so many messages that this book delivers and every single one of them spoke directly to my heart. Acceptance, devotion, love, and strength are the most prevalent themes which stuck out the most to me as I was reading.

I finished reading a few days ago and have not stopped thinking of these characters and story lines since. This book has truly touched my heart.

What a stunning debut novel from this author. I can’t wait to read more!

Bottom Line:

Read this. Have Kleenex.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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

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

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

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

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

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The Swap {Robyn Harding}: Guest Book Blogger Review, My Review, Author Interview with Robyn, AND GIVEAWAY (2 Signed Copies)!

Oh I am SO excited to bring you this post today!  A collaborative post with blogger Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central with her book review, MY book review, an interview with Robyn Harding, AND A GIVEAWAY (2 signed copies!) all surrounding Robyn’s newest book, The Swap!  This post is already one of my favorites and it was such fun working with these ladies during the process.

Melissa Amster’s book blog was one of the first that I ever read and it’s wonderful.  If you don’t already follow Chick Lit Central, take some time to check it out!  You’ll love it like I do.  Melissa has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my blogging journey and I’ll never be able to appropriately thank her for all of her support and advice along the way.  She’s so awesome!  When she asked if I would be interested in doing a collaborative blog post to review Robyn Harding’s newest book, I JUMPED at the chance!  Amazing!

I have been a huge Robyn Harding fan for years.  Her books are AWESOME.  Working with her on this post was the first time she and I have communicated and I’m so happy to report that she’s just as lovely and kind as I was hoping she would be!  So nice corresponding with you, Robyn!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Swap {Robyn Harding}:

“No list of thrillers is complete without Robyn Harding,” proclaims Real Simple. Now the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party delivers a riveting tale about the toxic relationship between two couples after a night of sexual shenanigans, and the manipulative teenager with an explosive secret at the center of it all.

Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her looming height or her dreary, isolated hometown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. But whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio.

After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoyed by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging…that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

Robyn Harding brings her acclaimed storytelling, lauded as “fast-paced, thrilling, gut-wrenching” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six, to this dark and suspenseful thriller for fans of Megan Miranda and Lisa Jewell.

My Review of The Swap {Robyn Harding}:

(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)

So I’ll just come out and say it: I was so incredibly nervous to read this book.  I had already been in discussions with Melissa Amster AND with Robyn Harding as to how we were going to collaborate on this post.  What if I hated the book???  If you are a regular blog reader, you know that I always share my true feelings on books, both positive and negative.  I was so nervous to read this book and have to write this post.  If I hated the book, how awful would it be to have to write my negative review on a collaborative post with A) A book blogger whom I very much admire and B) THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK.  Scary.  However, my readers are always #1 to me and being honest with my thoughts remains my top priority.  The reason that I have such loyal followers is because my readers trust that I’ll always be honest with my thoughts.  I hear that from my blog readers ALL THE TIME.

So…I opened the book, holding my breath as I read page 1.

And I very quickly released my breath.  From the very first sentence I. WAS. HOOKED.  Oh how I LOVED this book (thank God)!  I read the whole book over 2 days, I truly couldn’t put it down.  Hands down my favorite Robyn Harding book that I’ve read (my review of another of her great ones can be found HERE).  I can very honestly say with 100 percent certainty that I LOVED this book.  PHEW.

This book is GREAT!  It is scandalous and juicy and messed up and AWESOME.  Not only is it one of my favorite books that I’ve read during the quarantine, but it’s absolutely one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far in 2020.  These characters felt REAL and their stories interlaced with one another so perfectly.  The result?  One twisted, dysfunctional, and AMAZING psychological thriller.  I haven’t stopped thinking of these characters or their messed up story lines since I finished reading.  AWESEOME.

The writing is fantastic, the characters are interesting, the story lines are TWISTED…a perfect psychological thriller.  I love this genre so much and this book is a perfect example as to why!

I very truly highly recommend this awesome book.  THANK GOD.  How awkward would this post have been if I hated it???  Phew…

Chick Lit Central’s Melissa Amster’s review of The Swap {Robyn Harding}:

I’ve been a fan of Robyn Harding’s thrillers ever since picking up The Party a few years ago. I especially loved The Arrangement last year, so I was thrilled to get my hands on an advanced copy of The Swap, courtesy of Gallery Books. I was sucked in the moment I started reading it and I couldn’t get enough of it.

This novel was really good throughout. I had a hard time putting it down and Robyn kept me guessing the entire way through. I don’t want to say a lot as to not spoil it, but it was very twisty and messed with my head. I wish we had Freya’s perspective, but I get why it wasn’t included. I enjoyed the balance between Jamie and Low’s perspectives. Brian and Max even got a narrative at times.

I could understand Low’s point of view in terms of being a loner and craving female friendship. I wasn’t all that popular growing up and when I did form a close friendship with someone, I tended to latch on for dear life. I had a friend in high school who was really pretty and whom everyone liked (in the group I was hanging out with). Senior year, this toxic friend started stealing my friend’s attention and time and I was getting fed up with it. Eventually, my friend saw the light, but I kind of wish I had Low in my corner to get rid of the toxic friend at the time. Just saying… While I never retaliated in the way that Low did, I still will develop a burning anger and hatred towards someone on a close friend’s behalf. I have much healthier friendship attachments now, but reading this book brought some memories to mind.

When (not if!!!) you pick this book up, buckle your seatbelts because you are in for a wild ride! Don’t be surprised if you end up getting nothing else done so you can read it in one sitting.

Movie casting suggestions:

Low: Diana Silvers

Freya: Candice King

Jamie: Lyndsy Fonseca

Brian: Scott Eastwood

Max: Giulio Berruti or Jason Momoa (I was picturing Jason first, but it’s good to have backups.)

Thompson: Max Burkholder

Low’s mother: Mireille Enos

A Conversation Between Book Coffee Happy and Robyn Harding:

I love how you tackle such “taboo” subjects in your books (swapping partners in The Swap, Sugar Daddies in The Arrangement, etc.).  How do the people closest to you (family, friends, etc.) feel about you writing about such normally unmentionable topics?

I think my family and friends are quite used to it by now! My grandmother passed away a few years ago, and she did NOT like me tackling taboo subjects, or swearing, or writing about sex. I miss her dearly but there is a certain freedom in her absence.

Speaking of these unmentionable topics, how do you decide which to write about? How do you conduct the research on them to gain enough insight to create such interesting and complex stories and characters?

I take a kernel of an idea, something I hear about in the media, or through social circles, and play with it to see if I can build a story around it. Then I create the characters. With THE ARRANGEMENT, I did a lot of research into the sugar baby lifestyle. I talked to young women who had sugar daddies, and I set up a fake account on a sugar daddy dating site. Talk about an eye opener! For THE SWAP, I spoke to a friend who had been in an open marriage years ago, but most of it came from my imagination.

Describe The Swap using only 3 adjectives:

 Sexy, twisted, craaaaaazy

What do you hope readers will gain from reading The Swap?

I really just want to provide an escape for people right now. There is so much going on in the world, and so much to worry about, that I’m truly grateful when I can lose myself in a book. I hope I can do that for readers.

Tell me a bit about your writing process:

I use loose screenplay structure to plot out my novels, and I write profiles for all of my main characters. I’m not a dirty first draft writer. I re-read and edit as I go along so by the time I’m done, the manuscript is usually in pretty good shape.

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a signed copy of The Swap?
 
I have 2 signed copies to give away (open to US and Canada only for this giveaway)!  

To be entered, just leave a comment below (on this blog post)!  Your comment can be about anything!

**You must comment below to be eligible for the giveaway and you must comment here on this blog post (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (9/3/20) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced here on my blog on Friday (9/4/20).

Make sure you check the blog on Friday 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).

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

A big thank you to Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central and to Robyn Harding for their collaborations on this post!  I had such fun working with you ladies!

Melissa and I worked on a collaborative post together a few months back reviewing Mary Kubica’s The Other Mrs.  You can check out that post over on Chick Lit Central HERE!

**If you don’t already follow Chick Lit Central or Book Coffee Happy, we would both love to have you join each of our book blog communities!  Welcome :)**

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)*

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

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

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

Book I’m Currently Reading:

Goodreads Synopsis of One to Watch {Kate Stayman-London}:

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

You can buy the book HERE! I will post a full review once I finish reading!

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

I clearly drink a large amount of coffee. While what I put IN my coffee stays pretty consistent (Splenda and half and half for the win), I DO like to switch up the brands of coffee I buy pretty regularly. I always drink medium roast but this this new to me coffee brand and it’s light roast caught my eye last week at the grocery store. The verdict? Delicious! You can buy it HERE!

And speaking of coffee, how is it that we are 6 months in and I STILL can’t get used to not trying to drink coffee while wearing a mask??? I pick up my coffee, bring it up to my lips, and…mask. Anyone else??? This would be me last week in the Portillo’s drive thru waiting for my chopped salad and just wanting to take a quick sip of coffee…Grrrrr….

Side Note: Someone apparently still hasn’t felt safe enough to get herself a salon manicure, lol….

Currently Making Me Happy:

Our gorgeous new ipad case that my 8 year old daughter picked out. What 8 year old has such beautiful taste?! Linked HERE !

Be sure to check back here on Wednesday! I have a VERY exciting post to share! A book review not only from myself but from another book blogger, a Q & A with a VERY popular and amazing author, AND A GIVEAWAY for 2 lucky readers of an AWESOME new book! Can’t wait to share 🙂

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you HAPPY?

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)*

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

Book Review: I Wish You All The Best {Mason Deaver}

Ok. Time to write my very first book review since this whole WordPress new editor debacle (aka how WordPress pissed off millions of bloggers). THANK YOU to the MANY of you who reached out after I wrote my last post! Apparently there are many, many, MANY of you out there who are struggling with this as well. UGH. Ok here goes post #2 in this stupid new block editor. I reaaaaally hope I can do this…I figure that the very least I can do is to choose a FANTASTIC book from the pile that I’ve been reading to apologize for not giving you a review in over 2 weeks! If you haven’t yet read Mason Deaver’s I Wish You All The Best, you must. It’s so wonderful.

Goodreads Synopsis of I Wish You All The Best {Mason Deaver}:

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

My Review of I Wish You All The Best {Mason Deaver}:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics not spoilers)

Oh I loved this book. It was so beautifully written!

The characters were detailed, the story lines were easy to follow, and the overall “YA” feel was perfect (unlike the last YA book that I read). I Wish You All The Best touched my heart, made me smile, made me tear up, made me THINK, and overall made me so glad that I read it. I highly recommend this book.

I applaud ANY book which tackles topics which at times may be hard to discuss. This book brings awareness to such an important topic and really discusses it in such wonderful detail. I will admit that I learned so much from reading this book! Aside from being a wonderful story, I Wish You All The Best is a wonderful resource. ALL teenagers (and adults) would highly benefit from reading this book!

If you love YA (young adult fiction), read this.

Bottom Line:

A beautiful, important, and wonderful book.

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)*

*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