Review: If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais #sponsored #5starreads #IfYouWantToMakeGodLaugh

Review: If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais #sponsored #5starreads #IfYouWantToMakeGodLaugh

*Thank you Putnam Publishing for this gifted giveaway win! All opinions are my own.

Title: If You Want To Make God Laugh

About the author: (credit to Goodreads)

Publish Date: July 16, 2019

Publisher: G.P Putnam

Purchase here

What I Loved/Thought: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚒𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚐𝚑, 𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚑𝚒𝚖 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚜. 𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝙸 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚠.”

-𝙱𝚒𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚊 𝙼𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚜, 𝙸𝚏 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚆𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚃𝚘 𝙼𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝙻𝚊𝚞𝚐𝚑

I just went on the most emotional and wonderful journey while reading If You Want To Make God Laugh, and now I feel a book hangover coming on!

Set in South Africa during the 1990’s, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic is prevalent. Marais highlights different topics such as race, politics, sexual abuse, and the corruption in society in such a beautifully written way. Her writing just pulled me in from the beginning, as I fell in love with each character as they told their story. From sisters Delilah and Ruth, to young Zodwa, I loved how each story flowed chapter to chapter and I discovered more about each one.

This was such a powerful read, and one that will stay with me for a long time.

About the Book:

From the author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words comes a rich, unforgettable story of three unique women in post-Apartheid South Africa who are brought together in their darkest time and discover the ways that love can transcend the strictest of boundaries.

In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, seventeen-year-old Zodwa lives in desperate poverty, under the shadowy threat of a civil war and a growing AIDS epidemic. Eight months pregnant, Zodwa carefully guards secrets that jeopardize her life.

Across the country, wealthy socialite Ruth appears to have everything her heart desires, but it’s what she can’t have that leads to her breakdown. Meanwhile, in Zaire, a disgraced former nun, Delilah, grapples with a past that refuses to stay buried. When these personal crises send both middle-aged women back to their rural hometown to heal, the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby upends everything, challenging their lifelong beliefs about race, motherhood, and the power of the past.

As the mystery surrounding the infant grows, the complicated lives of Zodwa, Ruth, and Delilah become inextricably linked. What follows is a mesmerizing look at family and identity that asks: How far will the human heart go to protect itself and the ones it loves?


“Lovely….Marais showcases her talent for pulling beauty from the pain of South African history with a strong story and wonderfully imperfect characters.”–Publishers Weekly 

“This earnest novel burns with the consequences of forbidden romance, betrayal, and the redemptive power of love.”– Booklist 

“Marais excels at creating compelling characters; readers will be turning the pages, wondering what life has in store for each.” Library Journal

“Bianca Marais renders her home country – and the issues that plagued it during this era — with the nuance of an insider.”– Refinery29 

Review: Not the Girl You Marry #romance #NotTheGirlYouMarry #bookreview @berkleyromance

Review: Not the Girl You Marry #romance #NotTheGirlYouMarry #bookreview @berkleyromance

*Thank you Berkley Romance for this gifted copy for review! Happy Pub Day!

Title: Not the Girl You Marry

About the author: (from Amazon)

Pub Date: November 12, 2019

Publisher: Berkley Romance; Penguin Random House

Purchase here

About the book:

Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. His viral success has pigeon-holed him as the how-to guy for a buzzy, internet media company instead of covering hard-hitting politics. Fed up with his fluffy articles and the app-based dating scene as well, he strikes a deal with his boss to write a final piece de resistance: How to Lose a Girl. Easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, and he’s not sure he wants her to dump him.

Hannah is an extremely successful event planner who’s focused on climbing the career ladder. Her firm is one of the most prestigious in the city, and she’s determined to secure her next promotion. But Hannah has a bit of an image problem. She needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning dreaded, romantic weddings. Enter Jack. He’s the perfect man to date for a couple weeks to prove to her boss that she’s not scared of feelings.

Before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose each other.

What I Loved/Thought: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Not the Girl You Marry was a quick, witty, steamy, and sweet rom-com! I typically go for fast and in your face when it comes to Romance, but I enjoyed the slower pace of this one.

There were so many things about this one that I loved, including the main character featured as a woman of color, the fake relationship trope, and the twist on How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which is still one of my faves!


“Sharp, smart, and sexy—a perfectly executed role-swapped How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. We absolutely adored Hannah’s verve and ambition, and Jack’s delicious pursuit of the woman he wanted to deserve.”—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author 

“I love this book so much. Hannah is the romance heroine I’ve been waiting for.”—Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author 

“Smart, emotional, and jam packed with goodness.”—Kylie Scott, New York Times bestseller 

“It’s not often I get downright giddy upon finishing a book but I totally am with Not the Girl You Marry. Absolutely loved it.”—Katee Robert, New York Timesbestselling author 
“Andie J. Christopher brings modern dating to painful, funny, emotional life in Not the Girl You Marry.”—Jaci Burton, New York Times bestselling author 

Nonfiction November Hopefuls #Nonfiction #nonfictionNovember

Nonfiction November Hopefuls #Nonfiction #nonfictionNovember

*Thank you to the featured publishers for these gifted books!

How is your #NonfictionNovember going so far? This is my non-fiction hopefuls stack this month! See any faves?

It’s Veterans Day and the kids are out of school, so here’s to hoping I can make a dent in this stack! I’m grateful to those who served and I’m thankful for the long weekend. This was my attempt yet again to get a #booksandleaves pic, when the majority near my house are pine needles.

🍂What are you thankful for today?

Review: This is Not How It Ends #bookreview #5starreads #getredpr #suzyapprovedbooktours

Review: This is Not How It Ends #bookreview #5starreads #getredpr #suzyapprovedbooktours

*Thank you @getredpr @suzyapprovedbooktours and publisher for this gifted copy for review. All opinions are my own.

Title: This Is Not How It Ends

About the Author: (credit to Goodreads)

Genre: Romance

Publish Date: January 1, 2019

Publisher: Lake Union

Purchase here

Pages: 342

About the Book:

From USA Today bestselling author Rochelle B. Weinstein comes a moving novel of hearts lost and found, and of one woman torn between two love stories.

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.

This Is Not How It Ends is a tender, moving story of heartbreak and healing that asks the question: Which takes more courage—holding on or letting go?

What I Loved/ Thought: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars!

𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙄𝙩 𝙀𝙣𝙙𝙨 was such a delight! I really enjoyed this story from Rochelle Weinstein, and felt such a connection to the characters. She pulls you in with feeling the things the characters feel, and when their heart breaks, so does yours. They aren’t your typical fluffy, spiteful love triangle, but so much deeper and emotional.

A fantastic read that I highly recommend!


“Readers who enjoy watching a protagonist’s journey to emotional truths will appreciate this story of a woman struggling to determine how hers ends.” Booklist

“…The journey to the inevitable ending still manages to take some fascinating turns along the way.” Library Journal

“In Rochelle B. Weinstein’s latest, This Is Not How It Ends, Charlotte Myers is caught between two love stories—neither of which she expected, both of which come with great loss. Poignant and evocative, Weinstein has crafted a story that draws you in and won’t let go. Keep the tissues nearby, especially for the heartbreaking yet gratifying conclusion. A wonderfully moving read!” —Karma Brown, bestselling author of The Life Lucy Knew

“A beautifully written tale about love and the unexpected choices we are forced to make. Full of rich description and soulful characters, Weinstein’s original story will have you turning pages quickly.” —Elyssa Friedland, author of The Floating Feldmans

November BOTM #bookofthemonth #BOTM

November BOTM #bookofthemonth #BOTM

Do you have a subscription to Book of the Month? I have gone back and forth on my subscription, but when the November picks were out, I couldn’t resist!

Basically Ninth House has been so hyped among the bookish community that I couldn’t help but choose it. I’m just waiting for a cold, rainy day to binge read.

I picked The Giver of Stars for my co-hosted Buddy Read, and because #reesewitherspoon chose it as her book club pick this month. I also needed to read it to compare it to Troublesome Creek to see if all the book drama was true.

So what did you choose this month?

Book Feature: The Poppy by Caroline Scott #ThePoppyWife #bookfeature

Book Feature: The Poppy by Caroline Scott #ThePoppyWife #bookfeature

*Thank you William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for this gifted copy.
Title: The Poppy Wife

About the author: (credit to Amazon)
Publisher: William Morrow

Purchase here

About the book:

In the tradition of Jennifer Robson and Hazel Gaynor, this unforgettable debut novel is a sweeping tale of forbidden love, profound loss, and the startling truth of the broken families left behind in the wake of World War I.

1921. Survivors of the Great War are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis is still missing. Francis is presumed to have been killed in action, but Edie knows he is alive.
Harry, Francis’s brother, was there the day Francis went missing in Ypres. And like Edie, he’s hopeful Francis is living somewhere in France, lost and confused. Hired by grieving families in need of closure, Harry returns to the Western Front to photograph soldiers’ graves. As he travels through France gathering news for British wives and mothers, he searches for evidence his own brother is still alive.
When Edie receives a mysterious photograph that she believes was taken by Francis, she is more certain than ever he isn’t dead. Edie embarks on her own journey in the hope of finding some trace of her husband. Is he truly gone, or could he still be alive? And if he is, why hasn’t he come home?
As Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to the truth about Francis and, as they do, are soon faced with the life-changing impact of the answers they discover.
An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history—those years after the war that were filled with the unknown—The Poppy Wife tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins in battle-scarred France; and the even greater number of men and women hoping to find them again.

“A beautiful, tender novel which explores the aftermath of the Great War, and the shattered lives left behind. Written with gorgeous prose and a cast of memorable characters, this is a stunning debut which had me spellbound from the first page to the last.” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

Review: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson #bookreview #RedatTheBone

Review: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson #bookreview #RedatTheBone

*Thank you to and Riverhead Publishing and Penguin Random House Audio for this gifted audiobook for review. All opinions are my own.

Title: Red at the Bone

About the author: (credit to Amazon)

Publish Date: September 17, 2019

Publisher: Riverhead, Penguin Random House

Purchase here

Pages: 208

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

What I Loved/Thought: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I basically binge read this beautiful, lyrical story in a day. Told with such a storytelling ability, that Jacqueline Woodson crafted. I loved the multi-generational perspectives, and felt such heartache as each of the characters shared their struggles.

*Thank you for this gifted audiobook for review. To note I read both the physical copy and audiobook, and highly recommend the audiobook too. Features a cast of wonderful narrators!

About the Book:

An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.
Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson’s taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.




*Thank you to these publishers for the gifted copies [Atria, Hachette, Little Brown Co, Berkley Pub, AvidPress, ]

✨𝙽𝙾𝚅𝙴𝙼𝙱𝙴𝚁 𝙷𝚘𝚙𝚎𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚜✨

..Tucker’s face: when you stay up late but you just want to read one more page..

✨Happy weekend! November is here and I’m going to allow full on mood reading. I have so many upcoming new releases that I want to get a head start on, but it’s also #nonfictionNovember which I have participated in for the past few years and it really helps round out my reading!

I also want to get through some digital galley copies, so I’m joining #NetgalleyNovember to get those reviews out!

These are a few on the top of my list that I would love to read this month! Let me know what books are at the 𝗧𝗢𝗣 of your #possibilitypile

OCTOBER Wrap Up! #books #monthlywrapup

OCTOBER Wrap Up! #books #monthlywrapup

✨That’s a wrap. 𝙾𝙲𝚃𝙾𝙱𝙴𝚁 𝚆𝚁𝙰𝙿 𝚄𝙿✨

Hi. Having a bit of a Halloween-candy-stayed-up-too-late hangover this morning, but first.. a wrap up!

October was my best reading month yet! It was filled to the brim with creepy, scary, twisted, unreliable and gory. It was also filled with some of the disappointing domestic thrillers that were released this year.

I read not one, but THREE Stephen King novels, and I’m officially hooked. Salem’s Lot was by far my fave though, so maybe I like horror after all.

I read 29 books, including 9 that were audiobooks. I dug into my backlist books, and challenged myself to read what I felt like. I also got a head start on 2020 upcoming releases and found a new fave!

5 ⭐️ Faves:
•The Reckless Oath We Made
•Salem’s Lot
•Holding On To Nothing
•The Sun Down Motel
•Chelsea Handler: Life Will Be the Death of Me

✨Did you have any faves this month?