Book Review: Playing Nice {JP Delaney}

So this is a perfect example of why sometimes you just need to browse the library shelves in person. I had never heard of JP Delaney’s Playing Nice, knew absolutely nothing about it, randomly saw it on a shelf at the library, read the back cover….and immediately knew I had to read and review this book. The synopsis GRABBED me!

Goodreads Synopsis of Playing Nice {JP Delaney}:

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s son, Theo, isn’t actually his son–he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they’ve been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents–or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts’ glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.

They are done playing nice.

My Review of Playing Nice {JP Delaney}:

This book is GREAT. Omg it’s AWESOME.

Short chapters are my favorite and this book is wonderfully filled with 112 of them. Some a few pages in length, many less than 1 page. THE BEST! I wish every book could be written like this. I truly couldn’t put it down!

This story is INTENSE…it’s completely unfathomable to me how something like this could actually happen. It’s such a thought provoking scenario and truly a parent’s absolute worst nightmare. Omg.

Pro Tip: Make sure you have a nice quiet spot where you can devour the last 50ish pages because there is no way you will be able to stop reading at at point. SO. GOOD.

And yet again… I had about a million predictions and absolutely zero of them turned out to be correct. LOVE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!

Bottom Line:

Read this book. It’s fantastic.

HERE is another example of a random book that I found on the library bookshelf that tuned out to be GREAT!

Have you read this book? What unknown books have you stumbled upon which turned out to be awesome? 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 #17) {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!

What Are You Currently Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads of Playing Nice {JP Delaney}:

Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s son, Theo, isn’t actually his son–he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they’ve been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.

The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents–or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts’ glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.

They are done playing nice.

I have been waiting for MONTHS to read this book! I think it sounds amazing! Starting it today, I clearly have VERY high expectations…fingers crossed that I won’t be disappointed…

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads of The Guest House {Lucy Foley}:

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

I finished this one yesterday morning and I have SO MANY thoughts. I’ll post my review soon!

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Being as Type A as I am, I will NOT be unprepared with reading material during a future state shutdown like I was during the last one! I am keeping my library book pile fully stocked. As we speak, I have 10 books checked out of the library PLUS a pile of books that I own just waiting for me to read them! Clearly, I have many to choose from but as of now I’m thinking I will read this one next:

Synopsis from Goodreads of Little Scratch (Rebecca Watson}:

In the formally experimental tradition of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers and Ducks, Newburyport comes a dazzlingly original shot-in-the-arm of a novel that reveals one young woman’s every thought over the course of twenty-four hours.

little scratch tells the story of an unnamed woman living in a world of office politics, clock-watching and emoji-texting as she relays what it takes to get through mundanity in the wake of a recent sexual assault.

Formatted in continuously interweaving columns that chart the feedback loop of memory, the senses, and modern distractions with witty precision, our narrator becomes increasingly anxious as the day moves on; and increasingly intent on distracting herself. Must she really drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated? Does the word “rape” apply to what happened to her? Why is the etiquette of the women’s bathroom so fraught? Does the colleague who keeps offering to make her tea know something? And why can’t she stop scratching?

Fiercely moving and slyly profound, little scratch is a fearless and defiantly playful look at how our minds function in– and survive–the darkest moments

So, this book looks…different. Like, it literally looks different, check out how it’s written:

I’m undecided if this book format will be interesting or annoying but I do know that it’s intriguing? I’m already annoyed that the title words and author name don’t begin with capital letters (I told you I’m Type A). We’ll see. This book is VERY outside of the type of book I usually read??? Have any of you read it? I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts!

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:

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This. Book. Is. AWESOME.

This book has been on my list to read FOREVER. I brought it on our first trip to Michigan, never had the chance to read it, and had to return it to the library once we got home (cue sad music). I was SO excited when I FINALLY was able to re-check it out and start reading so that I could read and review it! And I must say…totally worth the wait. It’s AWESOME.

I. Loved. This. Book.

Goodreads Synopsis of The Wife Stalker {Liv Constantine}:

Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.

Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.

Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

My Review of The Wife Stalker {Liv Constantine}:

This book is AWESOME. Actually, let me rephrase: This book is great but the ENDING is awesome.

I had been waiting for months to read this book and it was most definitely worth the wait (isn’t it the worst when a book you have been so excited to read turns out to be awful? Thankfully NOT the case here).

I was ALL IN from page 1 and I felt ALL the emotions while reading. Anger? Check. Sadness? Check. Suspicion? Check. As a mother and a wife reading this book, I was especially invested in seeing how everything was going to play out. I had SO MANY predictions while reading and exactly ZERO of them came true. I love, love, love when that happens.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that short chapters are my absolute favorite and this book is full of them. The writing was clear, the chapters were short, the story lines were captivating, and the ending was GREAT!

Side note: Did you know that Liv Constantine isn’t an actual person? Liv Constantine is a pen name for 2 sisters who co author their books. Mind. Blown.

Bottom Line:

Read this book. If you are married and a mother, read this book….and then hug your husband and children a little tighter. Omg.

Have you read this book? What did you think? 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!*

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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!*

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Book Review: The Dilemma {B.A. Paris} and Zin Mignon Giveaway Winners (Video)

Have you read Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris? If not…stop reading whatever you are reading and read that book! It was AWESOME. I read it years ago so the details are a bit fuzzy but I do remember that I literally could not stop reading until I found out how it ended. I absolutely loved that book and therefore couldn’t WAIT to get my hands on B.A. Paris’s newest book, The Dilemma. I picked this one of a few weeks ago on my very first trip to the INSIDE of my library during this pandemic. I couldn’t wait to read and review it! ***Giveaway winners for Michael Daswick’s Zin Mignon and The Secret of the Pickled Pigs’ Feet video is at the bottom of this post***

Goodreads Synopsis of The Dilemma {B.A. Paris}:

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.

But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?

Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

My Review of The Dilemma {B.A.Paris}:

The 2 main characters just may be my most hated main characters of all time. Livia was completely immature…a child! What grown woman centers herself around her own party the way that she did? And don’t even get me started on Adam. His choices continuously went from stupid to bad to REALLY stupid to REALLY bad throughout the entire book. The marriage between them felt more like a high school relationship than a marriage. 98 percent of this book focuses around the fact that they were afraid to talk to each other? Not to mention the fact that they were awful parents who CLEARLY lacked any type of respect for their own children.

In fact, the entire group of friends in this book felt like a group of high schoolers rather than a group of adults. So much he said/she said, cattiness, gossiping, etc.

Have you ever watched Three’s Company? The famously best part of that show were the times when misunderstandings between characters led to awkward conversations and actions where only the viewer was privy to understanding both sides. This is how I felt about The Dilemma…but…where watching it play out on television was hilarious, reading it in this book was annoying.

So now that I have successfully told you all of the reasons that I really didn’t like this book, allow me to share one tidbit from the other side of the coin:

I. COULDN’T. PUT. IT. DOWN.

That’s right! For all of my complaints, this book sure had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t WAIT to see what was going to happen! The writing was BRILLIANT, the chapters were so short (my favorite), and all of my guesses as to how this story would play out were wrong (love when that happens). 

So, there you have it. Hated the characters, hated the story lines, loved the writing, loved the suspense. How’s THAT for a mixed review??

Bottom Line:

NOT as good as Behind Closed Doors. Not even close.

Giveaway Winners Video for Zin Mignon and the Secret of the Pickled Pigs’ Feet {Michael Daswick}:

Congratulations to the winners! Here is a video of the hard copy winners. Michael Daswick will be emailing the winners of the ebooks 🙂

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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What I’m Currently Reading, What I’ve Recently Read, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #15) {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!

Today is Tuesday…just pretend that it’s Wednesday! I have more time to blog today than I will tomorrow and I wanted to be sure to get this posted, lol.

What Are You Currently Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.

Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.

Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

I am starting this book tonight and I am SO EXCITED. It has been on my to-read list for MONTHS! It sounds so amazing, I will report back and post my full review once I finish reading.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

11 year old genius Chef Zin Mignon is in a horrific pickle. He’s been kidnapped from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris by the mysterious Mustard Monks and spirited away to their ultra-remote mountaintop abbey. In time, he’ll be able to take their daunting Test. If he passes, he may join their secret Order and achieve the culinary success he’s always dreamed of. If he fails….

The tale of Zin Mignon begins at the bottom of a jar of pickled pigs’ feet in his father’s pathetic Brooklyn deli. A secret note sets him on a world-spinning adventure that takes him through the alleys of the homeless to the tables of billionaires, to discover who he really is and the greatness for which he is destined. As he sets the culinary world on fire, a mix of treacherous rivals feasts on the chance to make his dreams go up in smoke.

In the wildly appetizing first book of the Zin Mignon series, with the help of his family and friends, Zin is off to honor the solemn promise he made to his dad and to learn the incredible secret of his family legacy. With humor, amazing exploits and heartfelt compassion, Zin uses food and his kitchen to build a recipe that will lead him to his true identity. Can he cut the mustard, or is it all just pie in the sky?

When Michael Daswick sent me book #1 of his Zin Mignon book series, I was super excited. We are VERY into children’s cooking competition shows over here so reading about the journey of a young chef who opens his own HIGHLY successful restaurant sounded wonderful to me. I finished reading this book yesterday morning and I can honestly say from my heart that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. My daughter will adore this book, I’m so excited for her to read it. I can’t wait to write a full glowing review on my blog for this one soon (and to also host an AWESOME giveaway for it)! Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out Michael’s website to lean more about this amazing book series: www.michaeldaswick.com

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

In all honestly, I’m not 100 percent sure that this will be the next book that I’m going to read as it’s library due date has **cough cough** already passed. Oops. I do have a few books on hold at the library that look amazing so if I get to the library over the next few days I will return this one and grab those. If I don’t have a chance to get there over the next few days…I’ll read this one and eventually return it when I can. DON’T EVER DO THIS! Oops. #momlife #pandemic

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!*

*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*

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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

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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: 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)*

*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*

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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)*

*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