October 2016 Reads

Life According to Steph

Today I’m joining Steph and Jana’s monthly Show Us Your Books linkup to share my October 2016 reads.  October wasn’t a great reading month for me.  I only read seven books, which is on the low end for me.  Recently, I’ve been struggling with finding time to read.  I have books that I want to read, but I’ve only been reading in snippets  – a few minutes in the car while waiting to pick up the kids from after school activities, a few chapters before bed, etc.  There’s just so many other distractions.  Darn you Netflix!  Add in podcast listening, magazine reading, cooking, cleaning and the whole parenting thing and reading has been relegated to the bottom of my list of things to do.  November is not off to a great start either, but I’m hoping my reading time will pick up soon!  Here’s my October 2016 reads, ordered by rating.

2 Stars


Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra – A young woman pretends to be Bec Winter, a girl who disappeared back in 2003.  Bearing enough resemblance to Bec, the girl thinks that this will give her a fresh start.  But soon she discovers that it’s difficult impersonating someone she doesn’t know, especially when her family is acting very strange.  The woman realizes that whoever took Bec may still be out there. This book is a psychological thriller and is a quick read.  I read that the movie rights have been sold for this book.  This might be a rare occasion where I like the movie better than the book.  I didn’t connect to or find any of the characters likable.  Plus, I found the whole premise that this woman could impersonate someone and no one questions it so unbelievable.

3 Stars


Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius – This YA book is a modern retelling of the story of King Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn.  The story takes place at Medina Academy in Washington, where Henry is President of the student council and dating Catherine.  But then Anne shows up and he becomes infatuated with her.  Romance ensues but things don’t end well.  Ever since reading Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction books, I’ve enjoyed reading about the Tudor period. I didn’t find this retelling enjoyable and the ending of the book was infuriating.  However, it may be a fun read for a high schooler, who is learning about the Tudor era.


It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm – This is a recent contemporary YA release.  You can read my full review of the book on the Kiss The Book blog.


London Bridges by James Patterson – This is the 10th book in Patterson’s Alex Cross series.  Somehow I missed reading this one when reading this series.  It’s a quick, suspenseful read but nothing special.


Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard – I was on a YA kick this month!  I finally read this first book in the Pretty Little Liars series.  If I was in high school I think I’d really like this series.  As an adult I think it was an okay read.  It has high school drama as well as some mystery and suspense.  Though not in a huge rush, I’m probably going to continue with the series.  I watched the first episode of the show on Netflix and it followed the book pretty well.


Private Paris by James Patterson & Mark T. Sullivan – This is the 10th book in the Private series, featuring Jack Morgan and his private, worldwide investigative firm.  I recently realized that I skipped some of the books in the series and have been trying to go back and read the ones that I’ve missed.  I find this series to be hit or miss and this book was just okay.  It fit my need for a quick, suspenseful book though.

4 Stars


The Girl Before by Kena Olsen -The only life Clara Lawson has known has been the one she’s lived with Mama and Papa G and her husband Glen.  Her husband took over his father’s business and Clara’s job was to groom and teach the new girls in preparation for their later life with clients.  But then their home is invaded and Clara is taken away and separated from Glen.  Institutionalized, she is questioned about her husband’s activities.  As information is revealed to her, Clara eventually starts to question the life she has lived and who she really is.  Told in alternating chapters between the past and present, this book was a bit on the disturbing side but engrossing.



  1. hmmmm Anne & Henry sounds interesting as i also enjoy reading about that time period, but i might skip it. i normally like retellings of certain stories (fairytales or austen books lol) though i don’t think i have ever read a henry/ann retelling. i haven’t read the pretty little liars books though i used to be all about the tv show.

    • Yeah, I’m not recommending Anne & Henry, as much as I enjoy reading about that time period. I am hopefully going to start book 2 in the PLL series soon! I’m watching an episode after each book.

  2. I’m a huge fan of the PLL books and the TV show so I’m glad that you liked both! The series does get a better and I feel like the first book was just setting everything up. I can’t wait to read The Girl Before! It just sounds so good!

  3. I went to add The Girl Before and it was already on my TBR! Thanks for the reminder!

    And yes, Netflix can be a huge distraction. Not that I know from experience…

  4. The Girl Before is already on my TBR. It looks so good and I love the book cover. Yup, I’m absolutely someone who picks up a book because it has a great cover, which has both helped me find great and awful books! LOL! I was curious about Only Daughter but my library doesn’t have it, which is probably okay.

    • I love a good cover as well! Although there are so many books on my to read pile, that I haven’t picked up a book to read just because of a great cover in awhile! I don’t think you’re missing anything by not reading Only Daughter!

  5. I enjoy James Patterson’s books from time to time because I always know what I’m getting into and they are really captivating reads. Anne and Henry sounds interesting – I’ve always been intrigued by all of that history.

  6. I read a few of the PLL books earlier this year, and they’re definitely fun, guilty pleasures– though the TV series strays from the books pretty quickly. I haven’t read a James Patterson book in years, but I really need to pick one up again because I used to love him!

  7. I read a few of the PLL books earlier this year, and they’re definitely fun, guilty pleasures– though the TV series strays from the books pretty quickly. I haven’t read a James Patterson book in years, but I really need to pick one up again because I used to love him.

    • Patterson is totally hit or miss now, though I still enjoy the Alex Cross series and the Women’s Murder Club series. I have book 2 of the PLL series to read. It appears from the first episode they cover a book an episode, so I can see them running out of material quickly!

  8. I like to go on a YA kick sometimes too… and then after a few of them it’s nice to re-enter the adult world with a little less hormonal drama 😉 I haven’t read any of these ones though – will have to check them out!

  9. I just received The Girl Before from a blog swap, so I will definitely be reading that soon.
    I enjoyed Private Paris. I like Jack Morgan.

  10. Netflix can be one of the worst distractions! Seven books is on the high end for me, though, so it still seems like you squeezed in a lot of reading!

    I really want to read The Girl Before. I’m glad that all the reviews I’ve seen so far seem to be positive.

    I also want to start the Pretty Little Liars series at some point. I love the show (though since we got rid of cable several years ago, I always wait for it to come to Netflix so I’m always a season behind), and I’m interested to see the differences between the books and show. I’ve heard that at some point they become really different, so I’ve been trying to put off reading the books until I finish the TV series.

    Only Daughter is on my “To Read” list, but I was kind of worried that it would be a little too unbelievable for me. I’ll probably read it eventually just because I do find the plot intriguing, but I won’t go in with high hopes.

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