Book Review: Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}

I had been eagerly awaiting the release of Matthew Norman’s newest book, Last Couple Standing.  You may remember it being included in my 6 New Books to be Released in 2020 post!  I had my name on the library wait list for MONTHS and it was a happy day when it finally came in!

Goodreads Synopsis of Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}:

The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?

To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.

Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good.

My Review of Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}:

(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)

This was the 2nd book that I read while on our beautiful vacation (you can read the GLOWING review of the 1st book that I read HERE and a recap of our perfect vacation HERE).

I read the majority of this book with this exact view in front of me:

Book.  Coffee.  HAPPY.

Take me baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

As for this book, the entire premise of the topic of the book just felt so incredibly icky to me.  Open marriage, cheating, or whatever you want to call it…hard pass.  I would literally DESTROY THE BITCH who would even TRY to look at my husband.

However, this book kept my attention from the very first page and I actually really enjoyed it despite it’s yucky premise.  The characters and the story lines were interesting, and many parts of this book were thought provoking.  It was an easy read and I quickly flew though it!  I loved the humor sprinkled throughout, it made such a heavy and weird topic feel a bit lighter.

This was the first book that I have read of Matthew Norman’s and…I’m a FAN!  LOVED his writing style!  I will absolutely be reading more books that he has written asap.

**Side Note: The main character, Jessica, is now officially one of my most hated book characters of all time.  I absolutely loathed her.**

I continued reading this book once we got home from Michigan although the scenery surrounding me wasn’t nearly as beautiful.  I always find it sad to start a book on vacation and then have to finish reading once I return home.  Anyone else feel this way???

I posted this on Facebook once we returned:

Bottom Line:

Icky topic….but….I liked the 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)*

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

Looking for a Page Turner? Oh Do I Have the Book for You!

This book is the very definition of page turner.  I COULD NOT put it down.  One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read.  Ever.  You need to read this book…EVERYONE needs to read this book!

I once wrote a list of my top book recommendations to bring on vacation. In that post (link HERE), I discuss a bit more of my qualifications for a book to be a perfect book to bring with you on a trip.  This book was PERFECT.

I brought this book with me on our recent trip to Michigan and every morning I went outside with my book to read with a view:

American Dirt Controversy:

This is easily the most controversial book I’ve ever reviewed on my blog.  I’ve done loads of research on the controversy and there are just so many facets as to why people feel the way that they do.  The author of this book has received death threats and as a result the book tour had to be canceled!  Here is a short video that I found online which sums up all of the controversy in an easy to understand, 5 minute clip.  I know the cover photo of these 3 men looks like it has nothing to do with this but I promise that it does!  This video does NOT contain spoilers, just an overall view of why this book is making so many people really, really upset. START WATCHING AT 2:35:

So now that you have a bit of background, let’s dive into my review…

Goodreads Synopsis of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

My Review of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

(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 absolutely loved it.  I devoured it.  I couldn’t put it down.  I cried.  My heart pounded.  I had to use my hand to cover entire paragraphs just so I wouldn’t be tempted to read ahead.

WHAT.  A.  STORY.

This story and these characters will stay with me for a very long time.

It’s a beautifully written, intensively involved story that had me sucked in from the very beginning allllllll the way until the very end.  I so very highly, highly recommend this book!

Pro Tip: If you are not fluent in Spanish, HAVE A PHONE NEXT TO YOU WHILE READING.  I simply CANNOT come to a word I do not understand and continue reading with an assumption of what that word means!  In American Dirt, there are LOTS of words and phrases written in Spanish.  I was actually quite impressed with how much I was able to channel my high school Spanish class (gracias, Senorita Dan!) to figure out the meanings but there were MANY words that I had to look up.  Many of these words weren’t relevant to the story (words such as “damn”, etc.) however many WERE actually relevant to the story!

For the love of God please do not send me a message telling me to get a Kindle so I can look up words as I am reading.  I don’t want one (read why HERE)!

I did an extensive amount of research on the topics in this book.  I watched videos of La Bestia.  I google imaged pictures of the places that they went.  I read countless articles about immigration and learned so much about so many different and important topics.  I LOVE WHEN BOOKS INSPIRE ME TO WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TOPICS I MAY NOT ALREADY HAVE AN EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT!  Oh I learned SO much from this book.  Interesting facts, heartbreaking facts, mind blowing facts.

As for my opinion of Jeanine Cummins writing this book without personally having lived through this herself…I’m not entirely sure that even matters.  This story is brilliant and IMPORTANT and needs to be shared.  Does it really matter WHO shares it?  Many people are saying that this isn’t “her story to tell” but truthfully, how many fiction writers are basing their stories solely on personal experience?  Jeanine Cummins is a brilliant storyteller and this book is an exceptional story which will make readers think, discuss, and analyze.  I cannot speak to the stereotypes in this book but what I CAN speak to is the fact that I will always support books which make readers THINK about topics outside of their comfort zone.  Any book which encourages people to talk about issues and brings awareness and understanding to hard to discuss topics deserves praise.  Jeanine Cummins did just that.

Bottom Line:

This book is absolutely brilliant.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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)*

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

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

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

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Read, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #12) {Book Coffee Happy}

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW!  The Three W’s: 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!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

(picture from my Instagram account)

Oh MAN has this book caused some major controversy.  I linked an article about this controversy in my last post and here is another one.  I started reading this book a few days ago, I’ll post my thoughts as soon as I finish reading…

Synopsis of American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}:

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

What did you recently finish reading?

I. LOVED. IT.  Read my review HERE.

Synopsis of Fire on High {Elizabeth Acevedo}:

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

What do you think you’ll read next?

This was one of the books I discussed on my 6 Books Being Released in 2020 post. I think it sounds scandalous…fingers crossed 😉

Synopsis of Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}:

A couple determined not to end up like their divorced friends try a radical experiment—and get in way over their heads—in this hilarious, heartfelt novel from the author of We’re All Damaged.

The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?

To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.

Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good.

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 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, Xo

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Highly, Highly Recommend This Book!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom Line:

If you love YA, you will LOVE this book!

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

READ. THIS. BOOK.

During this quarantine I have been continuously making sure to have books on hand to occupy myself as the library has been closed.  At first I looked at this as somewhat of a challenge to FINALLY read those books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for years.  I read one of them (whyyyyy on Earth did it take me such a long time to read that book?!?) but then I was faced with a pile of other books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long.  And despite everything else…I truly didn’t (and still don’t) have a desire to read any of them.  Ugh.  So I borrowed a book from a friend (another one that I loved) and worked my way through the pile of library books that I had previously checkout out pre-corona.

Back in May, another dear friend and neighbor of mine texted to see if I would like to do a book swap with her as by that point we were both needing some new material to keep us busy!  We texted each other pictures of books that we own and were willing to trade.  The 2 that I gave to her were these:

Eh.  Despite popular opinion (everyone else seems to love both of these), I truly didn’t love either of these books.  You can read my review of The Wives HERE and of Becoming HERE.  I happily passed both of these books along!

After looking though the pictures of the books that she was willing to offer, I chose these 2!  I had never heard of either title nor had I heard of either author.  After a bit of Internet research, both sounded great!

She put them on her front porch.  I sent my husband to grab them and replace them with the 2 that I was giving to her, and…success!  Now her and I both had some new-to-us reading material.

Book friends are the best 🙂

I chose to read The Perfect Girlfriend first and…WOW.

Book Synopsis of The Perfect Girlfriend {Karen Hamilton}:

My Book Review of The Perfect Girlfriend {Karen Hamilton}:

(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)

THIS.  BOOK.  WAS.  GREAT.

After finishing the last book that I read and didn’t love, I was more than ready to read an awesome book, one which wouldn’t allow for me to put it down.  JACKPOT.

(Great book + Dunkin’ coffee = joy)

From page 1 until the very last sentence, I was completely hooked.  This book was CRAZY and I found myself with my hand literally covering my mouth on NUMEROUS occasions while reading….the sign of an awesome psychological thriller.  This genre is absolutely one of my very favorites, and books like this are the reason why.

Short chapters, awesome story lines, CRAZY main character who does even CRAZIER things as the book goes on….loved it all.

You must read this book!  I absolutely loved everything about it and couldn’t put it down.  Definitely one of the best books I read during the quarantine…and one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2020!  I feel bad for my friend because the 2 books that I gave to  her were NOT nearly as good as this one, lol.  Oops.  Sorry Megan!

I cannot wait to read more from this author!  Apparently this is her debut book.  If she can create a story and characters this involved and awesome right from the start, I can only imagine how amazing her other books will be!

Karen Hamilton, I’m a FAN.

Bottom Line:

Read this  book.  Stat.

Xo,

Jenny

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I’m Currently Reading, What I Recently Finished Reading, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #9) {Book Coffee Happy}

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post! I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate!  These posts are intended to be posted on Wednesdays…but…does the day of the week even count while in quarantine?!?  Happy Friday 🙂  The Three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Ahhh you guys are so SMART!  Many of you guessed the book that I am currently reading based upon the clues that I gave in my last post!  Between the comments on there, on Facebook, and the private messages and texted I’ve received, I’m quite impressed with all of you blog reading sleuths 🙂

Gorgeous day today!  Perfect for reading and blogging outside!

I’ll post a full review once I finish reading 🙂

What did you recently finish reading?

Oh did I love this beautiful book.  You can read my full (spoiler free) review HERE.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Oh man, I really have no idea.  I have a few books sitting here so I’ll probably dig into one of those?  Unless I decide to order myself another book on Amazon??? This could get addicting 😉  Fingers crossed that my library’s drive thru window opens up again soon!  I currently have SO many wonderful books on hold and I keep adding to that list every day!

What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images 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

I Bought a Book!

Throughout this quarantine, I have been reading my way though a huge stack of library books that I had checked out before the Illinois shelter in place began, books on my bookshelf that I hadn’t yet read, and books borrowed from my dear friends. If you have been following me for any length of time, you know that I am completely obsessed with my local library.  I absolutely love checking out library books and VERY rarely purchase books on my own.  However, with our local library currently being closed and with no plans of reopening any time soon (insert sobbing emoji here)…I finally bought myself a brand new, beautiful book!

On Monday, I posted the following on Facebook:

That post received SO MANY great responses and some AMAZING book suggestions!  I just love the Book Coffee Happy reader community so very much. 🙂  Some of your  suggestions were books that I’ve read (and LOVED) and others were new to me titles.  I read every single one of your comments and looked up the synopsis of every single book mentioned.  I’m VERY happy to report that my To Read list has grown thanks to that post!  Some of the books mentioned by you guys sound AMAZING.  I love, love, love book discussions.  Thank you so much to those of you who commented!  If you haven’t read that post or it’s amazing comments, you can follow my Facebook page HERE.

I gave my decision as to which book I was going to buy lots of thought.  Being the president of my daughter’s school’s PTO has been hard work…and receiving this gift card as a thank you touched my heart.  I needed to spend it wisely!  Although a few of those Facebook post suggestions reaaaaaaally got me thinking…I ultimately decided on a book that wasn’t even mentioned by any of you in that post.

I Bought A Book!

The book that I bought is a book I have been dying to read for MONTHS AND MONTHS…even before it’s release.  I’ve been on my library’s wait list forever (before the book was even released) and my name isn’t even coming close to the top (especially now, lol).  Every time I would walk into the library, I would desperately check the new release shelf in hopes of it randomly being there but it never was.  The good news is that if you are on the wait list at my local library…your name just got moved up 1 spot 🙂

I initially thought of buying this book but then decided to see if any of your suggestions would sway me into thinking that maybe I should spend my gift card on a different title instead.

So after much thought (the minimalist in me does NOT take purchases like this lightly), I ultimately went on Amazon and thanks to Prime…it arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.

Here are some clues about this book:

  • It was published in February 2020…a brand new release!
  • It’s listed genres include: mystery, thriller, horror, fiction, and suspense.
  • This is the 7th book written by this author but the first one I’ve ever read.
  • The reviews on this book are INSANE….like….everyone loves it.  I searched and searched and couldn’t find a negative review!  People are LOVING this book which clearly explains why I couldn’t get my hands on a library copy.

Any guesses???

As a fun follow up to yesterday’s post where I was burning a Christmas scented candle, here is the candle currently burning next to me as I type.  Quarantine life has taught me not to wait for the correct time to burn the seasonal candles….there are no seasons in quarantine!  Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Off to rip open this Amazon box and wipe down my brand new book with these disinfecting wipes so I can start reading ASAP!

What book do you think I bought???  I’d love to hear your guesses in the comments below 🙂

Xo,

Jenny

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

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

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

*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

 

Book Review: The Wives {Tarryn Fisher}

Last week I wrote a post about how my impatience for reading this book momentarily outweighed my desire to maintain my clutter free home.  I literally couldn’t wait even 1 more day to read this one!

So I bought it.  And I read it.

Synopsis From the Back of the Book:

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life? And who is his mysterious third wife?

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)

2 Stars

This review is going to be nearly impossible to write without giving anything from the book away but I’ll just sum it up by saying this:

I really hated this book.

There is SO MUCH hype surrounding this book right now and I truly believe that it’s all due to exploring a topic which isn’t a very commonly addressed one.  I really think the hype is completely surrounding the topic and has nothing to do with this actual story.

The book synopsis sounds so amazing, right?  So here’s something that has never happened to me before…I’ve never read a book where the synopsis was SO MISLEADING as to what the book was actually about.

This book was hardly about polygamy at all!  I was looking for the juicy details behind this fascinating way some people choose to live their lives.

Side Note:  I could never be a part of a polygamist family.  I am an only child and sharing has NEVER been my strong suit.  Sharing my wonderful husband and beautiful children???  HARD NO.

If the topic of polygamy fascinates you, watch Sister Wives on TLC.  I’ve been watching it since the very beginning and it’s one of my favorite shows.  #teamchristine

Something else that has never happened to me before…I felt like that first half of this book was an entirely separate book from the second half!  Like…how does that even happen?! So weird.  For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the 1st half SIGNIFICANTLY more than the 2nd half and I didn’t even really enjoy the first half, lol.

The ONLY reason I am giving this 2 stars was that I DID enjoy Tarryn Fisher’s style of writing.  Short, easy to read chapters.  I quickly read through this one.  Also, this book DID provide a bit of thought provoking insight into the emotional aspect of polygamy…

Would any of my local readers like to own my copy of this book?  Obviously I have zero desire to read it again.  While I clearly don’t recommend it…if you would like it, it’s yours.  I can put it on my porch for you!  Just leave a comment down below on this post  telling me that you want it and I’ll randomly choose a “winner” (notice winner is in quotation marks because I truly don’t consider this book a prize, lol).  Check my post on Monday to see if you’ve “won”!

Bottom Line:

A perfect example of why some books just don’t deserve the hype they receive.

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

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The First Book I’ve Bought in YEARS!

The older I become, the more I believe in and practice minimalism.  You can read more about this decision in this post!  I am constantly tidying, decluttering, and getting rid of things around our house.  My annual garage sale has become one of my favorite events!  Whenever anyone asks for gift ideas for anyone in our family (especially for our children) I always respond with EXPERIENCES OVER PHYSICAL THINGS.  My children will gain so much more from an enriching experience than any toy could ever provide.  I proudly keep my house clean, organized, and as clutter free as possible (If you are interested, I can do an entire post on this…just let me know in the comments). One area that I’ve come to realize gets out of hand quickly when I allow it to is BOOKS.  As you know, I’m a huge book lover (obvi) and reading books truly brings me happiness (hence the name of my blog).  It took me many years to realize that my joy of READING does not in fact mean that I find joy in OWNING books.  Libraries have become my happy place as they allow me the opportunity to read any book I want without having the physical book in my possession when I’m done.

As a book blogger, I’m extraordinarily blessed that authors are constantly mailing me copies of their books on a regular basis for me to read and review on my blog.  These books are in a whole separate category of things that I own.  They are so much more than just books to me…these are actual reminders of my hard work and dedication to this blog as well as the actual reminders of authors and publishers who believe in my value as well as my opinion.  Minimalism dictates not keeping anything which doesn’t hold a special meaning to the owner…these special books are some of my prized possessions!

It’s the books that I seek out on my OWN to read…the books where buying them will eventually mean one more thing on my bookshelf to keep tidy…it’s THOSE books where I love reading (and returning) a library copy.

I have been wanting to read this particular book for MONTHS.

I went to the library yesterday…no copies in stock.  I checked out 2 books that I wasn’t even that excited to read for the simple fact that they weren’t this particular book.

When I got back to my car, I called our other local library (the one where I had placed a hold on this particular book) from the parking lot of the first library.

I’ve been on this library’s wait list FOR. EV.  ER.  The library recently started a new system where they won’t tell you what number you are in line! They are now part of a consortium that receives books from all other surrounding libraries so there really is no way to track when your book will be in. It’s both wonderful and FRUSTRATING. It’s wonderful because you theoretically could receive your book much quicker as it could be coming from a multitude of libraries and not just from one. I called our library yesterday to see if they could give me ANY indication…am I #2 or #200??? They wouldn’t tell me. I hung up and drove my annoyed self straight to Barnes and Noble.  I couldn’t wait even another day to start reading this book.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I’ve been holding on to this beautiful gift card from one of my best friends for months waiting until there was a book I’ve reaaaaally been wanting to read. The time has come!

How cute are these tote bags???  Barnes and Noble for the WIN!

I’ve seen this before and I think it’s a fun idea. You get a book without knowing which book you are receiving! There are descriptions written on the covers and you make your decision based upon those descriptions without ever seeing the actual cover. Love it!

HOWEVER…

I love it for a library where you aren’t paying actual money to blindly make a purchase. $16.00 to buy a book I very well might not want to own? That’s the exact OPPOSITE of minimalism (and smart purchasing in general). Hell no!

Besides, I was there on a MISSION.  No time for cute tote bags or mystery purchases. I hobbled (stupid broken toe) straight to the fiction section, found my book waiting for me on the shelf, quickly scooped it up, paid with my beautiful gift card, and happily drove home.

I started reading this afternoon! It’s making my broken toe feel better already…

Polygamy is absolutely fascinating to me…I could NEVER share my husband/life with another woman.  EVER.  Sister Wives on TLC is one of my very favorite shows.  Do you watch Sister Wives?  Which wife is your favorite?  #teamchristine

I’m currently on chapter 2 of my new book and from what I’ve read so far…this was a smart purchase.  A very smart purchase indeed.

Sometimes, minimalist or not…a girl just wants to read what a girl wants to read.  NOW.  And this girl is doing just that 🙂

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would 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!*

*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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6 New Books to be Released in 2020

There are some FANTASTIC books coming out in 2020!  Here are 6 books to be released this year!  Looking for a new book to read?  Now you can be on the lookout for a few of the ones which already have caught my eye.

Click the picture of the book covers below to preorder your copies today through my Amazon Affiliate links.  When you purchase through these links, I receive a small commission.  Xo!

Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}

Release Date: March 17, 2020

Synopsis:

The Core Four have been friends since college: four men, four women, four couples. They got married around the same time, had kids around the same time, and now, fifteen years later, they’ve started getting divorced around the same time, too. With three of the Core Four unions crumbling to dust around them, Jessica and Mitch Butler take a long, hard look at their own marriage. Can it be saved? Or is divorce, like some fortysomething zombie virus, simply inescapable?

To maximize their chance at immunity, Jessica and Mitch try something radical. Their friends’ divorces mostly had to do with sex—having it, not having it, wanting to have it with other people—so they decide to relax a few things. Terms are discussed, conditions are made, and together the Butlers embark on the great experiment of taking their otherwise happy, functional marriage and breaking some very serious rules.

Jessica and Mitch are convinced they’ve hit upon the next evolution of marriage. But as lines are crossed and hot bartenders pursued, they each start to wonder if they’ve made a huge mistake. What follows is sexy, fun, painful, messy, and completely surprising to them both. Because sometimes doing something bad is the only way to get to the heart of what’s really good.

My Thoughts:

This sounds so scandalous and juicy…I can’t wait to read it 🙂

This is Not How it Ends {Rochelle B. Weinstein}

Release Date: 1/1/20

Synopsis:

When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.

Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted and the one she knows she needs.

As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and has yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing that forgiveness is a gift, and the best-laid plans can change in a heartbeat.

My Thoughts:

I was fortunate to receive an Advance Readers Copy of this book.  Spoiler Alert: I. LOVED. IT.  Full blog review (and giveaway!) coming soon! This was officially released on 1/1 so you can read it NOW! And you should.  This book was included on my list of the best books I read in 2019.

Such a Fun Age {Kiley Reid}

Release Date: 12/31/19

Synopsis:

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

My Thoughts:

So TECHNICALLY this one released in 2019…but…12/31 is close enough to 2020 to be included here 🙂  This book looks so amazing!  I’ve had my name on the library hold list for months already.  I can’t wait to read this one.

All Adults Here {Emma Straub}

Release Date: May 5, 2020

Synopsis:

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is intentionally pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

My Thoughts:

I’m conflicted.  I didn’t love Emma Straub’s The Vacationers but this new one of hers sounds so good…???

The Other Mrs. {Mary Kubica}

Release Date: 2/18/2020

Synopsis:

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. It’s their eerie old home, with its decrepit decor and creepy attic, which they inherited from Will’s sister after she died unexpectedly. It’s Will’s disturbed teenage niece Imogen, with her dark and threatening presence. And it’s the troubling past that continues to wear at the seams of their family.

As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan’s death. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

My Thoughts:

I was fortunate to receive an Advance Readers Copy of this book.  Very unique and special full blog review coming on MONDAY!

Destination Wedding {Diksha Basu}

Release Date: June 30, 2020

Synopsis:

Tina Das wants to belong, but she just isn’t sure where. India or America? Brooklyn or Bombay? Manhattan or Delhi? Or start from scratch in London–she still has fond memories of her one-night stand with Rocco Gallagher, the handsome Australian, as they traipsed through Covent Garden and Seven Dials, but he never called back so maybe it’s time to let that dream go, and focus on finding the next big story for her streaming network instead.

She’s hoping she’ll find it at her cousin’s lavish, weeklong Delhi wedding, and has taken her best friend Marianne Laing along for the ride to Delhi’s poshest country club, Colebrookes. Marianne has always had international tastes, in life and in love, yet can’t help but think of sweet, steady, khaki-clad Tom back home in New York.

Also in attendance are Tina’s divorced parents: her mother, Radha, who’s bringing her American “boyfriend,” David, to the wedding, and her father, Neel, who’s using the visit to India to explore the idea of dating again, only to discover it and he have both changed completely in the decades he’s been away.

Infused with warmth, charm, and wicked humor, Destination Wedding grapples with the challenges of work, love, and finding the people who make a place feel like home.

My Thoughts:

I’ve mentioned before how I have always been drawn to learning about Indian culture throughout my entire life.  This book sounds wonderful!

Which books are you most excited to be released in 2020?

Xo,

Jenny

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

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

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

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

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