Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May Reading: The Best Love Story Ever

Wow, I have somehow read 12 books since the last linkup and that time has included my birthday, barre instructor training and a housewarming party. I am shocked. If you get nothing from these reviews today except read Red, White and Royal Blue immediately, I'll be happy.

Also, feel free to follow along on Bookstagram where I post everything I'm reading in real-ish time with reviews :) All links are to Goodreads so you can read others' reviews and add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Verity // Colleen Hoover
Amazon Ebook 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller 
Challenge: N/A

I kept hearing about how twisted this book was and I just really needed to read it. I had a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and since this book is self published, you can only get it through Amazon but it was totally worth the read! Definitely dark and twisted and I stayed up way too late reading it! Highly recommend if you like thrillers.
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The Evidence of the Affair // Taylor Jenkins Reid
Amazon Ebook
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Short Story 
Challenge: Popsugar - a book with no chapters/ unusual chapter headings/ unconventionally numbered chapters

I also kept hearing about this one and I just wasn't blown away? It's told solely as letters between two individuals who find out their significant others are having an affair with each other. It just didn't end up going the way I thought and we spent a lot of time in the weeds. That's the best way to put it so as not to spoil it! It's a super quick read, though, since it's a short story and is also on Kindle Unlimited!
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The Proposal // Jasmine Guillory
Library Ebook 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Romance
Challenge: Popsugar - book with a two-word title (I had another book here that I'm still planning to read but it fit, so why not check it off?) 

I loved The Wedding Date so I had high hopes for this one, too! If you've read The Wedding Date, you'll definitely recognize Carlos in this book. I loved Carlos so I was happy to join him on his love journey, too. If you want to be totally surprised when reading The Wedding Date, read that one first, because this one isn't a sequel, but you do find out how the other ends. Her next book, The Wedding Party, comes out this summer and I'm sure it'll be great, too. These are such feel good books! 
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Book of the Month Club 
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: N/A

Not really my cup of tea. I waffled between a 2 and a 3 and ended up with a 3 star because there were some twists right at the end but overall, the book was slow. It's told in alternating points of view - which I do really enjoy, especially in thrillers - but you find out the "truth" pretty early in the book and the twist didn't do enough to save that, in my opinion.
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Scribd Ebook and Library Book 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Nonfiction
Challenge: Erin's - book that was a Newberry Award winner (medal winner or honor book)

I ended up listening to most of this book via audiobook because I was short on time so maybe that was the reason I got a little lost on the names, but overall the story was heartbreaking. I am fascinated by WWII and Nazi Germany (I also HIGHLY recommend the Holocaust museum in DC) so this was heartbreaking to read about children who were used to carry out awful things for Hitler. 
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Rating: 4/5
Genre: Literary Fiction
Challenge: N/A

All of the cry face emojis for this book. I just cannot explain how great this book was. It tells the story of Annika and Jonathon who meet in college and then again 10 years later. The story alternates between them now in Chicago and meeting in college. Annika is on the spectrum but doesn't know or understand that so it's a brilliant story of her learning to thrive in life and also have this beautiful relationship with Jonathon. I cried a couple of times. Read it!
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Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA
Challenge: N/A

I read To All the Boys I've Loved Before after watching the Netflix movie (twice...) and finally got to finish these because the hold was so long at the library! They're just so dang cute and I relate to Lara Jean a lot. I was very over the top romantic and day dreamy in high school. But, I didn't get the hot guy until college LOL.
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Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA
Challenge: N/A

Again, so cute and adorable. I read the last one in less than two days. They're easy to read! They're also set in Charlottesville. And though they talked a lot about a SoulCycle that we for sure do not have, they did talk about my favorite bagel spot, Bodos so all is forgiven.
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Book of the Month Club 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller(ish)
Challenge: N/A

I put thriller(ish) because I thought it was a full blown thriller, but it also ended up being a story of growing up after trauma, rebuilding relationships and moving on. Yes, there's the whodunnit aspect of the murder but I was surprised by how much I liked this book even though it didn't focus on the twisty, gory aspects!
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Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: N/A

I have read a few Karin Slaughter books (and I googled her and it seems like this really is her name?!) and enjoyed them. They are GORY though, so you've been warned. This one wasn't the worst of hers I've read but the serial killer's signature is rough. I really enjoyed this kick off to her Will Trent series and while reading it, I even went to a used book store and bought the next two in the series. I'm not sure if they need to be read in order, but I'm doing it. I'm also from Georgia and all her stories so far have been set there, so it's kind of cool.
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Rating: 3/5
Genre: Mystery?
Challenge:N/A

People on the internet love this book. I am on the fence. While I, again, thought it was more of a thriller, it was not. It's a story about a family and how they grow and relate to each other told in alternating perspectives and times. It switches between the daughter in law and mother in law from the moment they met, until the mother in law was possibly murdered. So yes, there's a mystery, but it focuses much more on relationships. Which is totally fine but I feel like there were so many "things" in this book (highlight if you don't care about seeing what they were) - ALS, infertility, refugees, money troubles, suicide, murder, infidelity and more. It was just a lot of "hot topic" issues thrown at one family that just seemed too far fetched for this type of story. 
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NetGalley eARC 
Rating: 5/5
Genre: Romance 
Challenge: Booksparks SRC 2019

YAY FOR THIS BOOK! It's being published today and you absolutely must read it! I can't believe I'm rating a romance book 5 stars but here. we. are. This book has it all - politics, scandal, and most of all, a beautiful love story between the First Son of the United States (his mom is the president) and the Prince of England.

I have never read an LGBTQIA love story and I regret that choice immensely but I am trying hard to read more books and not just thrillers so this was high on my list and I'm so glad I was able to get it early! This book warmed my soul, made me laugh, cry and get chill bumps in the final chapters. I just... I want this to be the real America (it's set in the 2019/2020 election cycle) - so warm, welcoming, diverse and a freaking badass woman president who still has the same challenges of a mom! 

Ugh, just read this. Please. 
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Currently Reading: 

Find Her // Lisa Gardner
The Women // S.E. Lynes (eARC) 

Currently Checked Out from the Library: 

Find Her // Lisa Gardner
The Other Woman // Sandie Jones 


May's Book Club: 

Educated // Tara Westover

As always, linking up with Jana and Steph!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April Showers Bring May Birthdays

My fourth favorite month is here! I say fourth because I love October - December the most but May is my birthday month so I LOVE MAY! Maybe it's tied for favorite month?

Before I recap my April goals and share some for May, I wanted to share a few April highlights!

My mom visited Cville for the first time! Sadly the weather wasn't the best but she got to see a little bit of town and we took her to our favorite brewery.
Ellie turned 4! How is this real life?
My SIL came to visit and we had a nice Easter brunch at a new spot downtown. 
Christian's best friend visited from DC and we got to have lunch with his mom. 
Lots of trips to the Farmer's Market! 
I started a Bookstagram
Avengers: Endgame! And then I was even on my friend Maggie's podcast to talk about it. Check that out here.

So how did I do with my goals with everything going on and having ALL the visitors?

Read 6 books. Yes! I finished the tenth one last night before bed :)

Book my trip to Chicago. DONE! I am headed back to the Windy City on May 18 to see Katherine and I cannot wait. It will be my first trip not in the winter.
Image may contain: Leslie Dice and Katherine Meade Stephens, people smiling

Complete Erin's book challenge. DONE! Wow, I really squeaked by on this one and finished the last book via audiobook while working yesterday. 

No boxes left in the house. Hahahahaha. I crack me up. But we are hosting a housewarming in 11 days, so they have to be out/moved by then! Our basement is a disaster. 

Pick (and hopefully buy) outside furniture. Yes! Well, we have our rooftop furniture purchased and it has arrived! We can't decide exactly what we want on the deck off the kitchen. Probably something picnic table sized? Anyways, pictures to come on the rooftop very soon! 

Go to the Farmer's Market! Yes! I went 2 official times but strolled through another time. The market is right beside my barre studio, so it's easy to wind through. Unforunately, there isn't a lot of produce yet since it's still chilly but hopefully soon! 

3 new recipes. Maybe? I felt like I did, but I didn't keep track so I'm not sure. I know that I made a new banana bread recipe and a new gnocchi recipe but that's all I remember!

What's on the docket for May?

My birthday!!! I mean, of course I have to be excited about that - it's this Saturday :)
Barre teacher training. Yes, I'm just sneakily sliding this in here but I'm training to be a barre instructor this weekend! Happy birthday to me!
Housewarming party. 
Trip to Chicago! 
And some sort of plans that are still being determined for Memorial Day!

My goals this month are little smaller because I will be spending A LOT of time traveling, making plans and at the studio so wish me luck!

Read 6 books. 

Read all current ARCs on NetGalley. 

Host housewarming party. We are doing this the second weekend of May - I've already got a menu idea in my head, but we've got a few house things to do before then (boxes, hang pictures,  lay rugs, set up my office, etc.) so this is probably the biggest one to knock out.

Gain 75 more #bookstagram followers. There seems to be a certain number that gets you more ARCs and there's one book I'm really wanting early so I'd like to increase my followers in time for that!

Complete barre teacher training. 

What does your May look like? Lots of stuff or taking it easy?



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