June Wrapup 2019

June Wrapup 2019

It’s the last day of June, and I read 17 out of these 18 books. A rare sighting with my cat Finn, but he jumped up to sniff out this stack of books and I couldn’t resist!

I was always a fairly fast reader, but I will say that this year I’ve read more books per month than any other year in a very long time. I think a lot of that has to do with my kids being older, and having more uninterrupted time in the day to make time for reading again.

Favorites that I read this month: Summer of ’69, Miracle Creek, The Friend Zone and The Unbreakables.

See any favorites here? What were your favorites for June?

*Thank you to the publishers for these free books in exchange for an honest review.

Halfway Top Ten

Halfway Top Ten

Okay friends, I’m sharing the ten books so far that get all the stars from me.

📚 YOU by Caroline Kepnes- (credit to Amazon)

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. 

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting. 

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder. 

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

📚SUMMER OF ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand- (credit to Amazon)

Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changed, in New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel.

📚THE UNBREAKABLES by Lisa Barr- (credit to Amazon)

A delicious, sharp novel about a woman who jets off to France after her perfect marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivre—a lust for life, art, and steamy sex. 

📚THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang- (credit to Amazon)

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…

📚DAISY JONES & THE SIX- (credit to Amazon)

Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. 

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. 

📚THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW by Tracey Garvis Graves- (credit to Amazon)

Description

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New York Times bestselling author of On the Island, Tracey Garvis Graves, presents the compelling, hopelessly romantic novel of unconditional love.

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game―and his heart―to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone. 

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

📚MY LOVELY WIFE by Samantha Downing- (credit to Amazon)

Description (Credit to Amazon)

Product description

INSTANT #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER 

“Think: Dexter but sexier.”— theSkimm 
“A dark and irresistible debut.”— People 
“Will shock even the savviest suspense readers.”—Real Simple 

Dexter
 meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting…

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored. 

We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with. 

We all have our secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

📚CITY OF GIRLS by Elizabeth Gilbert- (credit to Amazon)

Description

Product description

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

“A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness.” – PopSugar

“Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger.” –USA Today

“Pairs well with a cocktail…or two.” –TheSkimm 

“Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are.” 

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. 

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. 

Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life – and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.

📚THE ISLAND OF SEA WOMEN by Lisa See (credit to Amazon)

Description

Product description

A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Timesbestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island. 

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. 

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. 

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them— The Island of Sea Womenintroduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.

📚THE SONG OF THE JADE LILY by Kristy Manning- (credit to Amazon)

Description

Product description

“Kirsty Manning weaves together little-known threads of World War II history, family secrets, the past and the present into a page-turning, beautiful novel.”— Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A gripping historical novel that tells the little-known story of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during WWII.

1939: Two young girls meet in Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East”. Beautiful local Li and Jewish refugee Romy form a fierce friendship, but the deepening shadows of World War II fall over the women as they slip between the city’s glamorous French Concession district and the teeming streets of the Shanghai Ghetto. Yet soon the realities of war prove to be too much for these close friends as they are torn apart. 

2016: Fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm. Her grandfather is dying, and over the coming weeks Romy and Wilhelm begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century. As fragments of her mother’s history finally become clear, Alexandra struggles with what she learns while more is also revealed about her grandmother’s own past in Shanghai.

After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents’ past. Peeling back the layers of their hidden lives, she is forced to question what she knows about her family—and herself. 

The Song of the Jade Lily is a lush, provocative, and beautiful story of friendship, motherhood, the price of love, and the power of hardship and courage that can shape us all

See any faves?

*Thank you to the publishers for these free books in exchange for an honest review.

New Week, New Books! 6/25/19

New Week, New Books! 6/25/19

Hey friends! I never realized how much I loved a Tuesday until becoming involved in the bookish community. Now I’m stalking all the feeds to see what books everyone is eyeing each Tuesday as new novels are welcomed to all the bibliophiles in the world.

*Thank you to the publishers for these free books in exchange for an honest review

📖A Nearly Normal Family by M.T Edvardsson

Description (credit to Amazon)

‘A deceptive and riveting novel’ Karin SlaughterChosen as one of the best seven thrillers of the summer by the New York TimesA Nearly Normal Family is the stunning psychological thriller from M. T. Edvardsson and asks what would you do if your child was suspected of murder, how far would you go to protect them?

📖A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble

Description

Product description

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble returns to the beach in her latest summer read about the family we create and the wishes we make that can shape us.

Zoe Bascombe has never said no to her family. When she blew her Juilliard audition, she caved to their wishes and went to business school. But when her mother dies and leaves instructions for Zoe to spread her ashes at a place called Wind Chime Beach, she defies her brothers and starts out for a New England town none of them has ever heard of and discovers a side of her garden club mother that her wildest dreams hadn’t imagined.

Zoe has another family.

Her first instinct is to run home. Instead she is caught in the middle of her feuding new relatives. With one family fighting among themselves and the other not speaking to her, Zoe must somehow find a way to bridge her new life with her old.

For the first time in her life, Zoe must make a stand for her family—both of them. If only she can only figure out how.

Her answer lies at Wind Chime Beach where for generations people have come to add their chimes to the ones already left among the trees. And when the wind blows and the air fills with music, their secrets, dreams, and hopes are sent into the world. There’s a message for Zoe here—if she has the courage to open her heart.

📖She’s A Spitfire

Description

Product Description

One fiery-haired, sexy scientist finds her perfect complement in a dark and handsome soccer star. Opposites attract, and they’ve got chemistry that’s explosive—literally.

Physics calls it entropy. Philosophy calls it Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, eventually it will. Professionally and personally speaking, Zed’s familiar with the principle. After a decade of trying to alter the atomic makeup of the mafia from its nucleus, now he’s set on leaving The Life and pursuing his heart. Problem is, the sassy, hot-headed spitfire he can’t quit is meddling in his slow burn escape plan, and turning it into full-on combustion.

Not to mention, Nairne’s got a painful history she won’t talk about and more secrets than she has lab instruments—which is really saying something. In an ideal world, the bad boy footballer would follow the brainy beauty overseas and they’d live happily ever after. But Murphy’s Law is proven true, as Zed finds his world imploding and his escape plan foiled. These enemies turned lovers end up discovering how costly it can be to meet the right person at the wrong time.

A present he can’t escape.

A past she can’t forget.

A future they won’t stop fighting for.

They say all’s fair in love…and war.

Book Two in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, feisty heroines, globe-trotting action, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!

Do you see any that you’re excited for?

Weekend Reading: She’s A Spitfire by Chloe Liese

Weekend Reading: She’s A Spitfire by Chloe Liese

*Thank you to author, Chloe Liese for this free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Saturday! I’m trying to get better at posting both here and instagram, for more than just book reviews. I also want to feature more “currently reading” stacks or mid month check ins. How does one juggle it all?

Today I’m featuring She’s A Spitfire, book two in the Tough Love Series. The kindle edition goes on sale 6/24 so be on the lookout next week, and add this to your TBR!

Title: She’s A Spitfire

Author: Chloe Liese (credit to Amazon)

Publish Date: 6/24/19 (kindle edition)

Purchase here

Pages: 196

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: (courtesy of Amazon)

One fiery-haired, sexy scientist finds her perfect complement in a dark and handsome soccer star. Opposites attract, and they’ve got chemistry that’s explosive—literally.

Physics calls it entropy. Philosophy calls it Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, eventually it will. Professionally and personally speaking, Zed’s familiar with the principle. After a decade of trying to alter the atomic makeup of the mafia from its nucleus, now he’s set on leaving The Life and pursuing his heart. Problem is, the sassy, hot-headed spitfire he can’t quit is meddling in his slow burn escape plan, and turning it into full-on combustion.

Not to mention, Nairne’s got a painful history she won’t talk about and more secrets than she has lab instruments—which is really saying something. In an ideal world, the bad boy footballer would follow the brainy beauty overseas and they’d live happily ever after. But Murphy’s Law is proven true, as Zed finds his world imploding and his escape plan foiled. These enemies turned lovers end up discovering how costly it can be to meet the right person at the wrong time.

A present he can’t escape.

A past she can’t forget.

A future they won’t stop fighting for.

They say all’s fair in love…and war.

Book Two in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, feisty heroines, globe-trotting action, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!

What I Loved/Thought:

I really loved He’s A Brute, so I was elated to read this sequel, She’s A Spitfire, and follow more of the story between Zed and Nairne.

I may even love this one more because we get to see how fierce and brave Naine is. This really is a great series and I’m excited to see where things head next.

All the stars for this fun, steamy series!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Feature: Girl in the Rearview Mirror

Book Feature: Girl in the Rearview Mirror

Hey everyone! So I stayed up last night binge watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and now I’m wrecked.

What’s the last show you binge watched?

Glad that I’ve got a new thriller to binge read! Thank you Trish @tlcbooktours and @williammorrowbooks for this free copy! #partner

🕶Today I’m featuring Girl in the Rearview Mirror by Kelsey Rae Dimberg

“With hairpin twists and immense psychological acuity, Kelsey Rae Dimberg’s Girl in the Rearview Mirror is as seductive as the glamorous, privileged family at its center—and as cunning. An exciting, intoxicating debut, it will hold you until its startling final pages.” Desperate to put her past in the rearview mirror, Finn Hunt leaves the Midwest for Phoenix, Arizona, where no one knows her story.

While she’s working a dead-end job, a chance meeting with Philip Martin, son of a prominent US Senator, leads Finn to a position as nanny for Amabel, his precocious four-year-old daughter. Quickly seduced into the Martins’ privileged world, Finn can almost believe she belongs there, almost forget the dark past that haunts her.

Then, in the stifling heat of a desert summer as the Senator’s re-election looms, a strange woman begins to follow Finn, claiming a connection to Philip and threatening to expose the family to scandal. As Finn tries to protect Amabel, and shield the Martins, she’s inadvertently drawn deeper and deeper into their buried secrets.

Sounds like the perfect suspense this summer!

Book Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Book Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Title: The Farm

About the author: (credit to Amazon)

Publish Date: May 7, 2019

Purchase here

Publisher: Penguin Randomhouse

Pages: 327

Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction

Synopsis: (courtesy of Goodreads)

What I Loved/Thought:

*Thank you @netgalley and @randomhouse for this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

The Farm has been getting so much buzz, and I was excited to read it this year! I really loved the character driven parts of this story, and found myself really rooted to Jane. A mom, just wanting the best for her family and doing what she could with a chance at making a large impact financially, in exchange for being a “host” to deliver someone else’s baby.

Reading the blurb of this book, I thought it might have some sci fi aspects to it, like all these women at a “farm”, working to carry babies until term and working for a government or something. However it was much different than I anticipated, and it brought light onto racial diversity, the concept of surrogacy, and socioeconomic aspects that really had me thinking.

Needless to say I did enjoy it, it was just very different than what I expected.

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5 stars!

Praise: (courtesy of Amazon)

Review: The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

Review: The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

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Title: The Unbreakables

About the author: (credit to Goodreads)

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Publish Date: June 4, 2019

Purchase here

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

Pages: 352

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Synopsis:

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What I Loved/Thought:

“𝙸 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚊 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚑𝚊𝚞𝚕, 𝚊 𝚁𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝙼𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚏𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚘. 𝙰 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝙶𝚊𝚋𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚊𝚗𝚝. 𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝙸 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚊 𝚝𝚒𝚝𝚕𝚎. 𝚂𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚋𝚘𝚕𝚍, 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚖𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚖𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚋𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚜 𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝. 𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝 𝚖𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚋𝚎 𝚄𝚗𝚋𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚔𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚄𝚗𝚋𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚔𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎𝚜.”

Oh man! This book you guys, it was such a delight. This book gets all the stars from me! I had just finished reading Normal People, which put me into quite the sad slump, and this was just the pick me up that I needed!

The Unbreakables is a beautiful coming of age story of a woman named Sophie, who is putting the pieces of her shattered life together, after she discovers on the night of her birthday that her husband has been having multiple affairs.

Sophie radiates strength and assurance, and an inner heroine that I would like to hope I would find, if I ever found myself in a similar situation. She gathers herself together and jets off to France to escape humiliation and discover who she really is.
There was unexpected passion and romance, and a side of steam which I fully appreciated too.

Sophie was such a likeable character from the very start, and she drew me in with her charm and wit. I loved this storyline as we see her discover her independence, sensuality, and allow her true self to shine.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars!

*Thank you to Harper Paperbacks for this complimentary book. All opinions are my own

Praise:

“Artful, feminist, and emotionally gripping. The Unbreakables is a remarkable tribute to a woman’s strength in the face of heartbreak and adversity.” — Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient

“Readers will delight in this effervescent cocktail of second chances, female strength, mother-daughter bonding and the truths that set us free.  Smart, sure and sexy, The Unbreakables is unforgettable.” (— Pam Jenoff, NYT bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale) 

“Lisa Barr has written a fun, sexy, satisfying tale of a woman getting her groove back. From the Rodin Museum in Paris to the South of France,  The Unbreakables has unexpected moments of warmth and human connection, and charts a woman’s journey back to herself.” (— Cristina Alger,  USA Today bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife) 

 

Review: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Review: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Title: The Friend Zone

About the author: (credit to Goodreads)

Publish Date: June 11, 2019

Purchase here

Pages: 385

Genre: Romance

Synopsis:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars!!

What I Loved/Thought:

5 stars all the way!!!

Right away, I was laughing from the banter shown between our main characters, Kristen and Josh. (He is my newest book boyfriend by the way). What started as a funny Meet Cute, but ended with so much more between these two.

The Friend Zone is a debut novel, but is so well written, and you immerse yourself into the story of Kristen and Josh. I bonded with her immediately and felt every emotion that she was going through. The snarky remarks and humor, the despair and heartbreak, the wholesome friend and confidant. This book broke me and had me sobbing happy and sad tears, but it was equally matched with all the laughs too.

As a Mother, I don’t take this title lightly because I know there are so many women who have struggled, or are still struggling with infertility, and my heart breaks for them. The Friend Zone broaches this subject in a beautiful, raw way, and this story shows the very real side of romance that isn’t all and hearts and fairytales.

I just adored this novel with my whole heart and found myself really going through all the feels. That’s when I know that a book has to be a 5 star read for me, and I can’t recommend this book enough!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars!!

*Thank you so much to Forever Publishing and Netgalley for this complimentary ebook. All opinions are my own

Praise:

“Your next favorite romantic comedy…The Friend Zone is that rare beach read with tons of heart that will make you laugh and cry in equal parts.” —PopSugar

The Friend Zone is a deliciously hot, sweet debut full of banter I couldn’t get enough of. I loved all the characters, from Kristen and Josh, to the supporting cast, and even Stuntman Mike. This book is an absolute treat.”―L.J. Shen, USA Todaybestselling author