21

March Reads {2021}

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March seems so long ago! It was a good reading month though with a bunch of 4 and even a 5 star book! This month I read a lot of suspense/thriller books. Here are my March reads!

3 stars:

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While I Was Away by Waka T. Brown – (January 2021, Middle Grade/Memoir) Twelve-year-old Waka is sent to Tokyo, Japan for five months to live with her grandmother to improve her Japanese. She attends school while navigating a new language and trying to make friends. This book is based on the author’s own experiences. I found the book fairly slow and am not sure how much it will appeal to the targeted audience.

4 stars:

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Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens – (August 2021, Suspense/Thriller) I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Hailey McBride is living with her aunt and her super strict husband. She runs away to live in the woods, hoping that people think she was a victim of the Cold Creek Highway killer. Meanwhile, Amber Chevalier is murdered by the killer. A year later her sister Beth arrives to attend a memorial for her sister and other victims and ends up staying in Cold Creek. As she tries to find her sister’s murderer she puts herself in danger. I’ve been a fan of Chevy Stevens for awhile and this suspense read didn’t disappoint.


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Dear Child by Romy Hausmann – (May 2020, Suspense/Thriller) Lena Beck has been missing for 14 years. A woman named Lena appears at a hospital. She has killed her captor after being held captive in a cabin with her two children. The police and Lena’s parents try to figure out what happened but there are many unanswered questions. Told from three different POV, this book is a bit on the dark side. It is different from, but has similarities to Room by Emma Donoghue.

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Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre – (December 2020, Suspense/Thriller) – Cat and her husband William are a wealthy and successful couple. When Neena Ryder is hired as a life coach for William’s company, she becomes a bit obsessive over Cat and William’s life. Told in alternating chapters between Cat and Neena, the two women become engaged in a game of manipulation. Although none of the characters were likable, this was an enjoyable, suspense read.

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – (October 2020, Fantasy/Historical Fiction) In 1714 a young woman makes a deal to live forever but is forgotten by everyone she meets. But after 300 years, she ends up meeting a man who is able to remember her. This book has been so hyped up on previous book posts and social media. I didn’t know anything about this book before reading it but decided to see if it was worth all of the hype. The first half of the book was pretty slow for me and I almost stopped reading it. However, it really picks up and I ended up really enjoying it.

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When I was You by Amber Garza – (August 2020, Suspense/Thriller) Kelly Medina accidentally discovers that there’s another woman in town with her same name. The two end up meeting and become friends but one of them becomes obsessed with the other and one of them disappears. This was a good suspense read with a lot of twists.

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The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins – (January 2021, Suspense/Thriller) Jane is a dog walker in a wealthy suburban neighborhood where she meets Eddie. He is a young, wealthy recent widow, whose wife, Bea, died in a boating accident. The two end up falling for each other, but Jane can’t get over Bea. This is allegedly a modern retelling of Jane Eyre (which I read YEARS ago and didn’t love). However, I found this to be an enjoyable read with lots of twists.

5 stars:

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Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson – (January 2021, Historical Fiction) Pheby Brown was born a slave but promised her freedom on her 18th birthday. But on the day of her birthday she is sent to Devil’s Half-Acre, a jail in Virginia where she is force to become the jail owner’s wife. However, she does whatever she needs to do to protect her loved ones. This book is based on true events. Although it’s about a difficult subject, this book is very well written.

Sharing with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup!

28

February Reads {2021}

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Even though February is a short month, I was able to get a good amount of books read. I’m really excited about my upcoming reads. I just brought home a bunch of books from the library that came in from my holds and I got approved on Netgalley for the new Chevy Stevens book that is being published in August. Here are my February reads that I’m sharing with Steph and Jana.

3 stars:

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Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman (January 2007, LGBT Romance) Taking place in the Italian Riviera, this book is the love story between 17 year-old Elio and his father’s research assistant, Oliver, who is staying with the family for 6 weeks during the summer. I didn’t like the characters or the writing style. However, it is a movie and I always prefer to read the book first.

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The Daydream Cabin by Carolyn Brown (December 2020, Contemporary Romance) School counselor Jayden Bennett agrees to fill in for her older sister as a counselor at Piney Wood Academy. She spends the eight weeks at this “last chance” camp for troubled teenage girls and ends up getting close to her colleague, Elijah. This was a feel-good story and I liked the storyline. However, I found it to be a little too religious for my liking.

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Get Lucky by Katherine Center (April 2010, Contemporary Fiction) Sarah Harper gets fired from her job in NYC and moves back home to Houston. She decides to become a surrogate for her sister, Mackie, who is unable to sustain a pregnancy. These events bring up issues that Harper must deal with. This is one of Center’s earlier books. While it was an enjoyable enough read, I prefer her newer books more.

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The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin (March 2019, Nonfiction/Organization) After watching the show on Netflix, I wanted to check out the books. The pictures are gorgeous and give me organization envy. However, overall I didn’t find the book very useful for my needs.

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Unplugged by Gordon Korman (January 2021, Middle Grade/Realistic Fiction) Jett Baranov is the son of a tech billionaire. Due to his bad behavior, he is sent to a wellness camp, where electronics aren’t allowed. The other kids think he’s a spoiled brat. But when he finds a baby lizard, it becomes a group effort to keep it hidden from the adults. I am an adult reading middle grade fiction, so not sure how much my opinion really counts. But I found this to be an overall “eh” read.

4 stars

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Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger (October 2020, Thriller/Suspense) When her train is stuck on the tracks, Selena Murphy ends up connecting with the woman next to her. Martha shares a secret with Selena and in return, Selena confesses that she thinks her husband is sleeping with their nanny. A few days later, the nanny is missing and Martha is texting Selena. That is when the book starts a roller coaster of a ride. Told through multiple POV, this book has lots of twists.

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Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros (March 2020, Middle Grade, Social Justice) Efrén is a middle school student with two younger siblings, who are all American-born. But one day, his undocumented mother is deported to Mexico. While his father works multiple jobs to try to earn enough money to bring Efrén’s mom back, Efrén must step up to help take care of his siblings. This was the first middle grade book I’ve read that focuses on undocumented immigrants. It depicts the stress that deportation has on a family and is a relevant read for middle school readers.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (May 2019, YA/Mystery/Suspense) Teenager, Andie Bell, was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh. Five years later, Pippa Fitz-Amobi chooses this case for her Senior Capstone Project. While completing research for her project, she ends up unearthing secrets people have tried to keep hidden. This leads her to believe maybe Sal was innocent. This was an enjoyable teen mystery.

5 Stars:

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune (March 2020, Fantasy) Linus Baker is a case worker at the Department in charge of Magical Youth. Upper Management sends him to Marysas Island to investigate the six, “dangerous children” that reside there. I had no idea what this book was about before reading it. However, I ended up loving everything about it – the characters, the island, the writing and the lessons and takeaways.

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January Reads 2021

16

January Reads {2021}

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January was a great reading month for me! I read ten books and most were 4 and 5 star reads! This will hopefully be a preview of the rest of my reading year! I read several YA books, written by authors of color, that are doing a great job of showcasing social justice issues. I am trying to be more educated on issues of race and I know there is always more to learn. As always, I’m sharing my book reviews with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup! Check out my January reads:

4 stars:

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Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer DeLeon – (August 2020, YA/Social Justice) A teen from the inner-city is accepted into a minority program at a wealthy school in the suburbs, where she is one of a handful of students of color. At the same time that she is struggling to adjust to her new school, her father is deported back to Guatemala. This book touches on many current issues of immigration and racism. My daughter is currently reading this book.

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Family For Beginners by Sarah Morgan – (May 2020, Contemporary Romance) A lonely, single woman working at a flower shop meets a recent widow. The two hit it off, but he has two children, one a teen who does not want a replacement mom. This book does a great job of showcasing the intricacies in family relationships.

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The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth – (April 2021, Thriller/Mystery) I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Twin sisters, who are complete opposites, are super close to each other. Raised by a single mother who had mental issues, the sisters have kept a secret from childhood. One sister is desperate to have a child and will do anything to do so. Told from alternating points of view, this book has several plot twists and surprises. It had me engaged and wanting to keep reading. I have read all but one of Hepworth’s books and have yet to be disappointed.

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Insignificant Events In The Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling – (September 2017, Middle Grade Fiction) A young girl born with no arms, moves with to a western theme park that her parents will operate. She has to navigate her new life and ends up trying to solve a mystery. Aven is a spunky, likable character. This is a well written book about children with disabilities.

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Rick by Alex Gino – (April 2020, Middle Grade Fiction) A middle school student explores his identity and deals with a toxic friendship. Our family did a read-aloud of George together by the same author many years ago and enjoyed it. While I didn’t love this book as much, I think it has some great messages for kids and introduces them to the LGBTQIAP+ community.

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The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler – (May 2020, Contemporary Romance) A girl goes on her dream trip to Alaska, which turns out anything like she envisioned. While there, she is introduced to the man who runs a local food joint, “The Tourist Trap.” His one rule is to not get involved with tourists. This was a fun read and Graham and Zoey made such a cute couple. There’s a second book in the series that I’m putting off reading until November/December, since it’s a Christmas themed read.

5 stars:

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Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah – (February 2008, Contemporary Fiction) Two girls meet in the summer of 1974 and become fast friends. The book follows their friendship from the teenage years to adulthood. This was a reread for me. I read it when it was first published back in 2008 but wanted to read it again before the show came to Netflix. I have watched several episodes of the show now and think it’s okay, but really loved the book.

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The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib – (February 2019, Contemporary Fiction) A former professional dancer is admitted to a residential home for women with eating disorders. Not everyone will enjoy this book. However, I found it interesting to see the realities and struggles that individuals with eating disorders endure.

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Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam – (September 2020, YA/Poetry) This is a YA novel told in verse, reminiscent of Ellen Hopkins. A teen is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and is sent to prison. He ends up finding refuge in his art. I read this book before watching When They See Us on Netflix. The show tells the story of the Central Park jogger case and the five boys who were falsely accused and imprisoned for the crime. One of those boys was Yusef Salaam, the co-author of this book.

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This Is My America by Kim Johnson – (July 2020, YA/Social Justice) A teen has been writing letters to Innocence X, trying to help her father, an innocent black man on death row, with less than a year to live. When her older brother is arrested and accused of murdering a white teen, Innocence X decides to help her case. In the meantime, she tries to figure out what really happened on both those nights that her family members were falsely accused of crimes.

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December 2020 Reads

November 2020 Reads

20

November Reads {2020}

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It is almost the end of the year and I am 9 books away from reading 100 books this year! I likely won’t reach that goal, however, I surpassed my 75 book goal with flying colors. Thank you quarantine! Today I’m sharing my November reads with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup. If you are looking for something new to read, I highly recommend checking out this linkup. Book lover/bloggers share their monthly reads and I always get tons of new book recommendations!

3 stars

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Followers by Megan Angelo – (January 2020, Contemporary/Science Fiction) This book shows the power of technology and social media and its dangerous effects. The story switches between 2015 and 2055 as it follows two characters. This was a pretty slow read for me that I thought was just “eh.”

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Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – (October 2020, Christmas/ Romance) A vacation booking mistake leaves a busy real estate executive on a guided tour down the Amazon River instead of a relaxing beach resort she had requested. During the vacation she ends up forming a friendship with the ship’s naturalist. Will it lead to more? This was an okay holiday romance read.

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Room-maid by Sariah Wilson – (October 2020, Contemporary romance) Madison Huntington has decided to live her own life, which means being cut off from her wealthy family. Since she can’t afford her own apartment on her teacher’s salary, she ends up agreeing to be a “room-maid” for Tyler Roth. Since he travels so often, he needs someone to help keep his apartment clean while he’s away and look after his dog. The only problem is, that she has no idea how to clean. This was a light, fluffy read. Madison and Tyler’s characters were very likable. However, Madison’s lack of real life skills was a bit annoying.

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The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss – (October 2020, Christmas/Romance) Kate Turner signs up for a dating agency’s “The Twelve Dates of Christmas.” However, each holiday themed date seems to be worse than the one before. Will she find love before Christmas?

4 stars

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Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – (April 2019, Contemporary Fiction) During an apartment open house, a bank robber takes the group hostage. The bank robber and hostages all have a story and learn more about themselves through the situation. I’m a Backman fan and this book didn’t disappoint.

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Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman – (June 2015, Middle Grade/Mystery) Garrison Griswold, creator of Book Scavenger, an online book hunt, is planning an epic new game. However, he is attacked and hospitalized right before the debut. When a 12 year old girl discovers a book, she believes it may be the first clue to the new game. She and her new friend James have to work to try to solve the puzzles. This was a fun, middle grade read. I borrowed it from the library in hope of getting my 7th grade son to read it….which he hasn’t yet.

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The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult – (September 2020, Contemporary Fiction) A woman surviving a plane crash reexamines her life and the two different paths that her life could have taken. There has been a lot of criticism and negative reviews for this book due to the textbook heavy information on Egyptology. I will agree that a lot of the info on the mummies, tombs and the actual The Book of Two Ways did not interest me. However, I give Picoult credit for writing a well researched book. Aside from the Egypt stuff, I also enjoyed the storyline. Picoult still remains one of my favorite authors, this book just wasn’t a favorite.

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Slider by Pete Hautman – (September 2017, Middle Grade) David mistakenly charges $2,000 to his mother’s credit card. To pay his mom back before she finds out, he enters a pizza eating contest. While training for the contest he also has to watch his autistic brother. This was a fun read. I got this for my son to read, which he did and enjoyed.

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October Reads

September Reads

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October 2020 Reads

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Another month has flown by. My reading has continued to slow down, but I think part of the problem is that I haven’t been reading very good books. Most of my books this month were 3 star, “okay” reads. We are almost half-way through November and I am going to continue my tradition of reading some holiday books over the next month and a half! These will hopefully be light, quick, enjoyable reads! I’m sharing my October 2020 reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup.

3 Stars

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Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel – (Mystery/Thriller – March 2020) – A twisted mother/daughter relationship resulting in a dark and disturbing read. I honestly couldn’t decide who was crazier!

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – (Contemporary Romance – November 2019) A cute romance book about a chronically ill nerd and a red-headed apartment super/artist. I found the couple to be so awkwardly cute. A fun, light read.

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Whisper Network by Chandler Baker – (Contemporary/Mystery -July 2019) A group of women working in corporate America take a stand when one of their male colleagues will likely become the next CEO. This book is a mixture of the #metoo movement and a mystery. However, I found it to be a very slow read.

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You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkaner – (Mystery/Thriller – March 2020) A lonely girl witnesses a suicide. Then she meets sisters who befriend her and help her turn her life around. But is it too good to be true?

4 Stars

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Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey – (Contemporary Romance – April 2020) – Two strangers end up helping each other out and forming a deep friendship. With likable characters, this was a fun, light read.

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Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy – (Thriller/Mystery – October 2020) A newlywed couple move from the city to upstate NY. The The husband, a therapist sees his patients in the perfect office, in the basement of the house. He doesn’t know that a vent in the ceiling allows everything that is said to be heard in the house. Then one stormy night, he ends up disappearing. This thriller had lots of twists that made for an enjoyable read.

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One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London – (Contemporary Romance – July 2020) A plus-sized fashion blogger becomes the next star of a Bachelorette-esque show. Are the guys there for the “right reason” and can she find love? As a fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette series, I found this to be a fun read.

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September Reads 2020

August Reads 2020

19

September Reads {2020}

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for additional info.

Today I’m sharing my September reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. Last month I completed my Goodreads reading challenge goal of 75 books. Unfortunately, my reading has slowed way down. In September I only read 5 books, but luckily, they were mostly great reads. Here are my September reads:

3 Stars

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An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena – (Suspense/Thriller, August 2018) – A series of guests arrive at an Inn just as a blizzard hits. As guests begin to wind up dead, the goal becomes to survive the weekend. I’ve read several other of Lapena’s books but this one wasn’t a winner for me.

4 Stars

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28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand – (Contemporary Fiction, June 2020) Girl inherits a house on Nantucket. Girl meets boy. Girl and boy then have a one weekend a year affair at said house for 28 summers. I’ve only read a couple of Hilderbrand’s books and haven’t loved most of them. This was a surprisingly enjoyable read. I got this summer read finished right before the official start of fall!

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The Last Flight by Julie Clark – (Suspense/Thriller, June 2020) Two women, who both want to disappear and start their lives over, meet at an airport and end up switching plane tickets. Their decisions ultimately have huge consequences. This was an enjoyable suspense read that had me invested in the lives of both women.

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On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – (YA – February 2019) – A poor, teenage girl, with a lot of family drama, struggles to become a rapper. This was a great read, but I just didn’t love it as much as The Hate U Give.

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The One by John Marrs – (Thriller/Science Fiction – March 2018) A company has a DNA test that will match you with your perfect partner. However, is it too good to be true? Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable suspense read.

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August 2020 Reads

July 2020 Reads

June 2020 Reads

17

August 2020 Reads

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Summer is officially over and today is the first day of school for the kiddos. It’s also Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. August was another great reading month for me. Out of the 10 books I read, they were all 4 star reads except for one! I’m not sure if I’m being more selective about which books I read, but I’m not going to complain. Here are my August 2020 Reads:

3 stars:

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Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison – (suspense, December 2019) A student at an elite, all-girls boarding school in Virginia is found dead. Was it suicide or murder? I found this book so unbelievable, yet had to finish it to see what happened.

4 stars:

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Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins – (Contemporary Fiction, June 2020) A couple are married for almost fifty years. The husband is bike riding when he gets hit by a car and ends up having a stroke. During this time the wife discovers a secret he’s been keeping from her. Meanwhile their two adult daughters are facing struggles of their own. This book shows all the messiness and complications of family dynamics. This is only the second book that I’ve read by this author, but I have to read more of her stuff.

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Eliza Starts a Rumor by Jane Rosen – (Contemporary Fiction, June 2020) An online moderator for a women’s parenting forum starts a rumor after she learns of a rival online parenting group. Unfortunately, this rumor has major consequences for some women. I was interested in this book since it takes place in the Hudson Valley and I actually live in the Hudson Valley. I wasn’t sure what to expect before reading this. But it was really enjoyable. The characters were all likable and there was a lot more depth and emotion to the book than I thought there would be.

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A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight – (suspense, May 2020) Described as Big Little Lies meets Presumed Innocent. A lawyer gets a call from a college friend who is accused of murdering his wife. While she tries to help him, her own marriage is slowly falling apart. This was a fast paced thriller that had me guessing until the end.

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The Guest List by Lucy Foley – (suspense/thriller, June 2020) The most perfectly planned wedding is taking place on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. Except nothing is turning out as the bride expected and then someone ends up dead. Although I didn’t really like any of the characters the story itself kept me reading.

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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – (historical fiction, February 2017) In early 1900’s Korea a young woman is impregnated by a wealthy man she falls in love with. But he’s married with kids. A sick minister staying at her mother’s boarding house offers to wed her and the two move to Japan. The story covers a span of over 50 years. I learned so much about Koreans living in Japan during this time period.

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Pretty Things by Janelle Brown – (suspense, April 2020) Two young women get involved in a game of deceit. One a petty swindler has her eye on conning the other, a heiress and Instagram influencer. But of course, things don’t go as planned. This was a good, suspense book and I read it’s being turned into an Amazon series adaptation starring Nicole Kidman.

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Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim – (YA Fantasy, July 2019) This YA fantasy book is described as Project Runway meets Mulan. A teen girl who is an excellent tailor pretends to be a boy so she can compete to try to become a Royal Tailor to the Imperial Majesty. This is the first book in a series. My teen daughter read and enjoyed this so I gave it a try and liked it as well.

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The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman -(Contemporary Fiction, April 2019) A woman inherits her family’s cottage. She leaves her cheating husband, quits her job and attempts to renovate the cottage into a bed and breakfast. This was a touching, light summer read. I’ve enjoyed all of Shipman’s books that I’ve read.

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The Young Elites by Marie Lu – (YA Fantasy, October 2014) Ten years ago a deadly blood fever left some teens with special powers. These “young elites” are targeted by the king to be destroyed before they destroy the country. One new elite just discovered her power but it may be too dark for even the Young Elites. This was a YA fantasy book that we’ve had sitting unread on our bookshelf for ages. I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. This is also the first book in a series.

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July 2020 Reads

June 2020 Reads

May 2020 Reads

29

July Reads {2020}

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And just like that July is over. It was a great reading month for me with a lot of 4 and 5 star reads! As always, I’m sharing my July reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup. Here’s to continued great reading in August!

3 stars

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The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – (Mystery/Thriller) On her 25th birthday, an adopted girl inherits her birth family’s home. We learn about the house’s past and the family that used to live there. This was my fourth Jewell read and my least favorite so far. Definitely a creepier and more bizarre read than I was expecting.

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Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey – (romance) Girl: isn’t taken seriously by her family and works as a clown for kid’s parties. Boy: Best friends with girl’s brother, known as a “player” and is back home nursing an athletic injury and his ego. Both want to be taken more seriously and come up with an agreement that will hopefully benefit them both. This book has some steamy sex scenes but some of the sexual references were eye roll inducing.

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I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman – (Contemporary Fiction/Chick Lit) A workaholic mom and her teen daughter embark on an organized East Coast college bus tour. The two get to know each other and test their relationship amidst some drama. As a mother of a teen daughter, I could relate well to their relationship. A light, entertaining read. I didn’t enjoy this as much as The Garden of Small Beginnings.

4 stars

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The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms – (contemporary fiction/chick-lit) A social media influencer gets dumped by her fiance right before their wedding. She eventually realizes that she needs to try living life offline. However, while she thinks she has “gone dark” on social media, her account is hacked and impersonated by a very tech savvy individual. This book was more deep than I expected. Harms also wrote The Overdue Life of Amy Byler which I had enjoyed.

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In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – (contemporary fiction/romance) The night of her proposal, a young woman gets a short glimpse five years into her future. She then tries to change the future that she saw. This emotional read was a love story that also touched on the power of friendship. It was a little heavier than what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it.

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The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal – (fiction) A family saga that follows two estranged sisters who take different life paths but both end up in the beer-making world. This was a fun, heart-warming read that gave me a lot more insight into the craft brewery world.

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The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett – (historical fiction/literary fiction) Twin African American sisters run away from home at 16 years of age. One twin passes for white and ends up keeping her past a secret. The other moves back home with her black daughter. This story follows their life paths and how the choices they’ve made affect those around them. The book is being made into a limited HBO series. It took me a little bit to get into this book but once I got invested in the characters it had me hooked. Unfortunately, I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and wanted more.

5 stars

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas – (YA Fantasy) Girl hunting to keep her poor family alive mistakenly kills a Fae. As a consequence she must live her life with her captor in a magical kingdom. She is then tasked with having to break an ancient curse if she wishes to save him. This book is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book, but I’m glad I finally did. This is not my usual reading genre, but it was a very engaging story.

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A Good Neighborhood by Therese Ann Fowler – (contemporary fiction) Oak Knoll is a “good neighborhood” filled with close knit neighbors. The book focuses on two neighboring families that differ in race and wealth and how their lives intertwine. This is a tragic story but very relevant.

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Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain – (historical fiction) Set in a rural North Carolina town, this book tells the story of the Eugenics program and its impact on one particular family and the young social worker assigned to help them. I didn’t realize before reading this book that the Eugenics Program was a real thing. This was an enlightening read.

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June Reads {2020}

Happy 12th birthday to my son today and happy book day! Today I’m sharing my June reads and linking up with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup. So far, summer has been great in both the quantity and quality of my reading. I read 10 books in June and we are almost halfway through July and I’ve already read over 5 books! It’s funny because me, who loves holding and reading actual books, has read most of my books this month on my kindle. It’s been relatively easy to get new releases of ebooks from my library system. And with my library closed for so long, this was one of my few options for new books. But great news, my library has been open for curbside pick up and will soon be open to visit! Here are my June reads:

3 stars

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The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson – Clara sits down next to Jake on a plane and they both feel like they know each other, but can’t figure out from where. When they land in Colorado, he is off to do interviews for a ghost writing job and she tells him that she will heading into the mountains to kill herself. As the story unfolds we discover how the two end up knowing each other and the cause of the memory issues they have both been experiencing. I found this to be a pretty slow read that didn’t hold my interest very well. I actually found it to be a bit sci-fi in the unbelievable factor. (mystery/thriller)

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The Jetsetters by Amand Eyre Ward – Charlotte Perkins writes an essay and ends up winning the “Become a Jetsetter” contest. She ends up asking her three estranged adult children to come with her on a ten day cruise to Athens, Barcelona and Rome. Of course there is lots of drama, and everyone has secrets that end up being revealed. I thought that I’d enjoy this book but was disappointed. None of the characters were likable and it didn’t feel like anything was resolved. (contemporary fiction)

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Open Book by Jessica Simpson – I was never a huge fan of Jessica Simpson or her music. But I did watch a few episodes of “Newlyweds” and had heard a lot of good reviews of this book. It was interesting to see how things really were behind the scenes but overall this was just an “eh” read for me. (memoir)

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Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore – On the night of Oona’s 19th birthday, which happens to be New Year’s Eve, she ends up time traveling and wakes up as her 51 year-old self. From then on, each New Year’s Eve she time travels to a different age. As she travels, she slowly pieces together the events of her life. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I didn’t really know much about it before I read it and I didn’t really love the whole time travel aspect. None of the characters were really likeable, except Kensie. (contemporary/science fiction/time travel)

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher – Thursday’s husband is a polygamist. He has two other wives that he sees, but that she has never met. She gets tired of only seeing him on Thursdays (really? right?!). So when she discovers their names she starts looking into the other wives and even befriends one. But of course things don’t go well. This was a fast-paced read with the usual unreliable narrator. However, I found the ending to be horrible. (thriller/mystery)

4 stars

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Beach Read by Emily Henry – August is a literary fiction author. January is a romance writer. The two end up neighbors and make a deal where they each write a book in the other’s genre. As they embark on field trips and interview to help each other research the genre, they of course end up getting close. Although this is a contemporary romance read, it’s not one that I’d classify as light and fluffy. (contemporary romance)

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Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner – Plus-sized influencer Daphne Berg is shocked when her old high school friend Drue Cavanaugh asks her to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. The two have a checkered past and Drue is not liked by many people. Daphne agrees and heads to Cape Cod to help Drue celebrate when things go downhill from there. I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers. This book was much different than the Weiner books that I’m used to. There was a mystery aspect to the book and I liked how Weiner addressed issues of body image, family and friendship. However, I did find some of the relationships a bit unrealistic. (contemporary fiction/mystery)

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The Happy Ever Playlist by Abby Jimenez – It’s been two years since Sloan’s fiance died and she still hasn’t gotten her life back together. While driving one day, she ends saving a dog. This dog, Tucker, ends up bringing Jason, his owner, into her life. The two hit it off right from the first phone call. But Sloan doesn’t realize that Jason is a rising rock star. Can a relationship survive his career? This is the second book in the Friend Zone series. I learned after reading this book, that it was actually written first, before The Friend Zone but was published after. The Friend Zone gives Sloan’s backstory which leads up to this book. I actually enjoyed this book more than the first! (contemporary romance)

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Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier – Marin and Derek seem to have the perfect life. They are wealthy and both own and run successful businesses. But as they discover when their four-year-old son is abducted while they are out Christmas shopping, money cannot buy happiness. A year after Sebastian’s abduction, Marin discovers her husband is having an affair. She puts a plan in motion to end the affair because she will not lose her husband too. But of course, things don’t go according to plan. This was a fast-paced thriller that had me guessing until the end. (thriller/mystery)

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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See – Li-yan and her family are part of the Akha people and live in the rural mountains of China farming tea. After she gets pregnant and has a baby out of wedlock, Li-yan drops her baby girl at an orphanage and cannot return to her family. She later ends up selling tea and studying under a tea master. She creates a new life for herself, but never forgets the daughter that she had to give up. This book was informative and well written. You really learn about the tea industry and I had never heard of the Akha people prior to reading this. I’ve read several of See’s books and have enjoyed them all. (historical fiction)

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May Reads {2020}

The weather has been beautiful and there’s nothing I’ve been enjoying more than reading outside on the deck. I’m sharing my May reads with Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup.

3 Stars

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Anna K. by Jenny Lee – A YA retelling of Anna Karenina featuring super wealthy teens in NYC. According to goodreads, I read Anna Karenina in 2013. I didn’t like it, but I was curious to see how a modern YA adaptation would read. From what I remember (and it’s not a lot!) it seemed to follow the classic pretty well. Most teens will likely find it to be a contemporary romance, as I’m sure not many of them have read Anna Karenina!

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The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben – Wilde grew up in the woods without a family. Now, an adult, he is helping to find a missing teen girl. This is the briefest of brief summaries of a book where there is a lot going on! As with all of Coben’s books, this was a quick, suspenseful read.

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The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez – Kristin Petersen is enjoying life, selling dog supplies and staircases for small dogs, and having a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Tyler. Josh Copeland, best friend of Brandon, her best friend’s (Sloan’s) fiance, moves to town. Of course the two end up attracted to each other but there are just some major issues affecting their relationship. I really enjoyed Kristin and Josh’s characters. However, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I did enjoy this romance/chick-lit book enough to read the sequel, which is currently sitting on my kindle waiting for me to read.

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – Alice, a famous painter, shoots and kills her husband Gabriel and doesn’t speak again. She’s now in a psychiatric facility where psychotherapist, Theo Farber, believes he can get her to speak. As the story unfolds we discover what led up the shooting event. This was 2019 Goodreads choice book winner and I had heard good things about it from a coworker. However, I was pretty underwhelmed. I thought it was a pretty slow read until the end.

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A Stranger In the House by Shari Lapena – Tom arrives home to find his wife, Karen, missing. She ends up in a car accident that leaves her with memory loss. There just so happens to be a murder right near where she has the accident. Overall, this was just an okay, suspense/thriller read. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I’ve read The Couple Next Door and Someone We Know and enjoyed them a lot more than this book.

4 Stars

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The Flastshare by Beth O’Leary – Tiffy ends up sharing a flat with Leon. Since he works nights, the two never see each other and communicate via Post-It notes. She ends up finding a way to help him with a family situation and the two become closer. Although this book is a cute romance, it also deals with the effects of an emotionally abusive relationship.

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – Alice Love is at a spin class when she falls of a bike and hits her head. When she wakes up, she believes it is ten years earlier, where she is pregnant with her first child. In reality, she’s about to turn 40, in the midst of getting divorced and has three children. She must learn to navigate this new life that she has no memory of. This is one of Moriarty’s older books and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read it. As much as I haven’t been a fan of her newer stuff, I enjoyed this book as much as I did her other older books that I’ve read.

5 Stars

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Untamed by Glennon Doyle – Doyle’s memoir where she reveals how she stopped meeting the expectations of others and truly started living and loving the life that she was meant to have. It’s honest, raw and so relatable. There are lessons for us all in this book. This was my first book by Doyle that I’ve read, but I now want to read her other ones.