January 2018 Book Review

Whoa!  Did you read my post yesterday?  I was beside myself by the response!!  If you missed it, I’ve opened up a Facebook group for the adoption community.  Whether you’ve already adopted, are in the process or are really thinking about it, this group is for you!  To see more details and learn how to get in, click HERE.  I was so blessed by your emails yesterday.  It’s amazing what God is doing in so many of your families!
Are you ready?
It’s here.
This is so me right now…
…I am GIDDY!!
I have been waiting for this post all month long. It’s the first book review of 2018 and it is a doozy!   If you missed my 2017 End of Year Book Review, click HERE.  Last month, I recapped the books I read in December along with naming my favorite book of the year (you have to click HERE to see which book won!) and gave some details about some of the other books I read during the year.  If you’re all caught up, let’s kick off this month’s review…wait for it…I read SEVEN BOOKS.
Some disclaimers/thoughts before I begin:
1. I know some of you will ask, “How did you read 7 books?” and here’s how: 1. I wrote my December Book Review on December 17 (because I wanted it written before the holidays), so some of these books were read at the end of December.  I also read several books on our vacation (between the flights and the cozy downtime, I read a lot!).  Plus, thanks to being home-bound last week because of my surgery, I read and read and read some more.  Needless to say, I don’t typically read so many books in one month, but this month, I did.
2. At one point during my readings, I looked at Andrew and told him that I was afraid God might be speaking to me because I was reading about some AMAZING WOMEN WITH KICK BUTT SURVIVAL SKILLS.  I was legit thinking, “Is God telling me I need to buck up in case I’m in a situation where I’m being held hostage/running for my life/being held at knife point/etc.?!?”.   I don’t know how it happened, but every book I read (whether fiction or non-fiction) was about some amazing women who were TOUGH!
3. Also at one point, I realized that I needed a little lightness to my readings because these books are pretty intense.  So, if you’re one of those readers who loves a good intense book, this is your review.  These are not the light/fluffy/chick lit books I adore so much.  These are meaty books with lots of substance.  (Even the “chick lit” book in this bunch was meatier than usual!)
So, that’s that.  Let’s get on to the books.  Open up your Amazon ladies, you’re going to want to read these…
I’m not sure in the 36 years I’ve been on this Earth that my dad has ever recommend a book to me…but one day last fall, he called me and told me to read My Story by Elizabeth Smart.  It was my first official book of 2018, and I’m going to be really honest, I bet it stays with me the rest of my life.
I was absolutely moved by this book.  Based on her true story, Elizabeth writes (in graphic detail I might add) about the night she was kidnapped, the nine months she was held hostage, tortured, raped, starved and abused as well as how she escaped.  This book was vivid, it was full of horrific imagery, it was shocking, it was unsettling, and it was something I could not put down.  Strike that.  I did put it down a few times because it was too much.  I distinctly remember reading it in bed one night and I stopped because it was just too awful…and then it was like the Lord spoke straight to my heart and said, “You can’t read this story?   These things actually happened to this poor child and you can’t even read about it?”.  Seriously…I felt it in my soul.  So, I kept reading.
This book is POWERFUL and I loved it.   I mean…I hated the story, but I absolutely LOVE how she has not let this define her life and who she is.  This book also prompted many conversations in our house about what to do in situations like this.  We’ve had many great discussions with our older two about how they would handle something like this.  I can’t say enough.  I’m so glad I started with this one.  This is one of those books where when you turn the last page, you finally exhale and you know in your gut that you’ll always remember this story.
I don’t know what’s going on with the men in my family…but my brother told both Andrew and me that we needed to read The Girl with Seven Names which is a memoir by Hyeonseo Lee about how she escaped North Korea just a few years ago.  Andrew started reading it first and was like, “Shay, you have to read this book!”.  So, right after reading about how Elizabeth Smart survived being kidnapped for nine months, I read this true story about how this girl survived escaping from North Korea.  Oh my word!  I couldn’t breathe reading this one either!  Good heavens!  I’m in awe of this woman now too!  This entire book was fascinating to me.  This covers her time as a small child turned teen in North Korea, followed by her big escape, how she survived living in China for 11 years without identification, and more and more and more (but I don’t want to give it away).  As soon as I read this one, I called my parents and told them to read it.  My mom said she finished it in two days.  Absolutely amazing!  Even if you’re a fiction fan, you will love this book.  I cannot stop thinking about it.  Even if you don’t read the book, you should watch her TED Talk on YouTube.  I loved hearing her tell her story in person.  She is such a hero too!
Ah!  After reading those first two books, I was ready for something light and easy, so I turned to Kristan Higgins brand new novel, Now That You Mention It.  I love Higgins’ books because they’re just happy chick lit books.  Here’s the thing though…in my opinion, this was her best book yet!  This novel was meaty, it had plot changes that I wasn’t expecting and the character had some real grit.  This book sets place on a small island off of Maine and it’s about a young physician who returns home there after being hit by a car and dumped…at the same time.  I breezed through this one.  It was funny, charming, endearing, suspenseful and unpredictable.  All great qualities in a good novel, right?  If you’ve enjoyed some of her other books, I think you will love this one!
Oh my goodness.  This book was so good!!!!  What She Knew is a VERY suspenseful novel about the events that unfold after a mom’s son goes missing.  I really can’t say much more…but if you like novels where you don’t know what’s happening, who did it, and how it’s going to end…you’ll like this one.  I don’t like my books to be too dark and this one wasn’t.  It’s just very suspenseful and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to that boy…and what she knew.  I’m ending on that note because I don’t want to spoil it…but this was a crazy fun read!
Yay! I’m so happy about Kiss My Fish!  This book was written by my sweet friend Bethany…
…this is a pic of us from one day when we were in my car.
So, Bethany and I are both from McKinney and are the same age…but while I’m a boring person, she is CRAZY fun!  Ha!  She really is 🙂 .   Bethany has been a missionary for over 10 years in cool places like Switzerland, France, South Africa and Australia and her first book (available on Kindles!) came out in December and is about her adventures.  I am so proud of this girl!  Her writing is exceptional (she is a natural born story teller), and the way she weaves humor, faith, fun and a deep love of the Lord into one book is actually quite poetic.  I loved this book, but I really think it would speak volumes to those of you out there living lives that aren’t the norm.  I think Bethany does a good job of celebrating people (like herself!) who don’t just go to college, get married, have 2.5 kids and a white picket fence.  She really does embrace this crazy life she lives and encourages others to do the same.  She’s very much a “march to her own beat” kind of gal, so if that’s you, you will love it too. I loved this one (and I love her too!)!
Every year, I pick a favorite book…and right now, this is one would be close to the top.  I LOVED The Last Mrs. Parrish!  Holy cow!  I loved this one!!  So, this novel is another thriller.  This is about a girl named Amber who decides she wants to invade the life of the Parrish family and become Mrs. Parrish herself.  Um, about a third of the way through, I was a little confused about this one and then right at the halfway mark, my mind was blown and I was obsessed!  This is the kind of book that when you put it down, you want everyone to read it because you just want to talk about it!  I told my mom to read it and several of my friends.  I just wanted to TALK!  I will say that this one is a little more rated R, so for those of you who like the heads up, there you go.  It’s suspenseful, it’s chilling, it’s jaw dropping and I HOPE THEY TURN IT INTO A MOVIE!!  I am obsessed with this book!
And I wrapped up this month with book number one in the series, The Outliers.  Erika passed this one on to me while I was down and out last week and I had it read in no time.  It’s yet another suspenseful novel full of twists and turns that make you cringe and cover your eyes (which is hard to do while you’re reading!).  This one is about three teens who get themselves into a realllllly bad situation and have to find a way out.  Oh…and one of them is agoraphobic.  #uhoh  I was really surprised at several different points while reading this book and had no clue how it would end (always a plus when reading something suspenseful!).  The next book doesn’t come out until May (I think?), and I totally want to read it too.  There will apparently be three books in this series.  Fun, frightening and easy to read.  This one was a winner too!
Whew!  That was a lot, right?!  Not just in volume, but in subject matter.  In February, I’m out to read something lighter and happier.  Ha!  Please comment and tell me what I should be reading…and let’s try some chick lit for the month of love, okay?!  I need it after this month.
Another review in the books!  I LOVE reading with you girls!!!  Comment and tell me your thoughts!! xo
To see the complete list of books I read in 2015 (all 63 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2016 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2017 (all 62 of them), click here.
If you want to view my Goodreads Account, click here.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog January 30, 2018 at 4:39 am

    You are incredible for going through seven books! I wish I could even go through one!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • Ariadna January 30, 2018 at 7:10 am

      Right?! I’m still trying to figure out time to read when I only have 1 kid let alone when she has 4 kids. She’s my “goals”, lol. 🙂

      • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 7:14 am

        Oh please! Four kids are easier…they entertain each other 😉 .

  • Alexis deZayas January 30, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Loving these recommendations!! I read Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow and loved it!

  • Samantha Harris January 30, 2018 at 4:41 am

    Loveddddd the last Mrs. Parrish. I think you should read “forever is the worst long time”

  • Elspeth Mizner January 30, 2018 at 5:24 am

    Great reviews! You gave me some great suggestions!

  • Sheaffer Sims January 30, 2018 at 5:24 am

    I watched a one hour special on Elizabeth Smart, and I learned so much that I didn’t know. Elizabeth is an amazing person, and you’re right, it’s incredible how she never let her horrific experience ruin her.

  • Erika Slaughter January 30, 2018 at 5:25 am

    That was a review full of goodies!! I’ve read several of those or have them on my nightstand waiting to read. Just like every month, this post makes me wanna call in sick and spend the entire day reading!!

  • polly peterson January 30, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Are you interested in an adopted adult joining your group and he perspective she could offer?

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 5:38 am


  • Jaren January 30, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Those do sound intense but so good!! I love a good suspenseful book! And you know what I recommend for you for next month already…they are light and very easy to read!

  • Christina January 30, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Added these to my list! I love reading all your book reviews!!

  • Katie January 30, 2018 at 5:42 am

    You should follow along (on instagram as well @reesewitherspoonbookclubxhellosunshine) with Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club – she too was reading The Last Mrs. Parrish. Her book choices, like the movies she’s been producing lately, all have really dynamic female characters, stories, and plots.

  • Becky Kelly January 30, 2018 at 5:47 am

    I was just telling someone at church about Elizabeth Smart’s book and how at 14, she was kidnapped and kept captive – yet it did not define who she became. Amazing.

  • Haley Bishop January 30, 2018 at 5:55 am

    I love new books on my list! I just finished Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall, Confess by Colleen Hoover, The Things We Do for Love by Kristin Hannah, The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth and now reading Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I read lot in January too, not much else to do when it’s freezing in Iowa 🙂

  • Christina January 30, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Wow that’s alot of books! My list just gets longer and longer. Did you read most of them on your paperweight? Are you still loving it? So many books so little time. I am currently reading the Secret life of Violet Grant. Based on your recommendation last month. Just finished reading Pretending to Dance my Diane Chamberlain. One of my favorite authors

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 7:15 am

      I’m obsessed with it! I read three of these on my Kindle and four in book form because Erika gave them to me or I already had them. Love my Kindle!

      • Tracie January 30, 2018 at 8:01 am

        My favorite Kindle feature is being able to pick up my iPhone while out to read a few pages on the Kindle app, and when I get back home to my Kindle it syncs to furtherest page read. I am never without my book unless I forget my phone and that is a bummer in a different way.

  • Tish Ferry January 30, 2018 at 6:11 am

    LOVE Book Review Day! I have been reading lots of chick lit lately and am excited to have some thriller recommendations from you!

  • Laura January 30, 2018 at 6:14 am

    I’m reading Boston Girl by Anita Diamant right now and loving it.

  • Robin Firestone January 30, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Your blog post came just in time….I just finished a couple of great books and was looking for a new book. The Last Mrs. Parrish was so great and I loved it! Have you read The Marriage Lie, The Wife Between Us and The Woman In The Window – 3 great books!!!!!

    • Alison January 30, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Loved The Wife Between Us! Just finished it!

    • Laci January 30, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      I read The Woman in the Window on Sunday! I could NOT put it down. It was so good!

  • Laura January 30, 2018 at 6:19 am

    The Royal Wedding Series by Rachel Hauck is 4 books that are the perfect light and romantic reads I think you are looking for! I loved all of them and have re-read them MANY times!
    P.S. I just love your book reviews!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 7:15 am

      Adding to my cart NOW!

  • Jill January 30, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Love the book reviews. This book is quite old but I think you would love it. Annie Freeman’s Travelling Funeral by Kris Radish. It’s about a woman who passes away from cancer and sends her girlfriends on a trip to spread her ashes.

    • Marla January 30, 2018 at 10:36 am

      I loved Annie Freeman’s Traveling Funeral. I read it years ago and passed it around to my girlfriends.

    • Deb January 30, 2018 at 11:08 am

      I second this recommendation. That was a great book! made me think about which of my own friends I might send on a trip to spread my ashes and what it would all turn out like 🙂

  • KayVonne January 30, 2018 at 6:28 am

    I highly recommend “Almost Gone: Twenty-Five Days and Once Chance to Save Our Daughter”. It’s a true story about a Plano West Senior High School student who got involved in an internet relationship from a man in Kosovo. Her father had to get the FBI involved to try to prevent his daughter from secretly fleeing the US to marry this man. I was fascinated and educated throughout this page turner!

    • Melissa January 30, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      Yes! You will love it!

    • Lisa biedebach January 30, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      I know that family. Crazy.

  • Holly January 30, 2018 at 6:30 am

    I just finished The Last Mrs. Parrish over the weekend and was floored by it all!!! I haven’t started another book yet because I am still trying to allow my brain to process that one, whew! I LOVED IT! I, too, have been telling everyone they need to read it! I put Elizabeth Smart’s book in my “to read” pile.

  • Amy D. January 30, 2018 at 6:47 am

    I suggest Between Me & You by Allison Winn Scotch. This past Saturday, I started it and it was so good I couldn’t put it down and finished it that day! I rated it 5 stars! 🙂

  • Erin Port January 30, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Fascinating. The first two books about those Ladies, especially, sound good! xoxo EIRN

  • Shelly January 30, 2018 at 6:53 am

    I read What She Knew this month too…loved it! If you don’t follow See You in a Porridge on insta she posts books in insta-stories daily that are like $1.99-3.99 on kindle and I’ve been finding so many of my recent reads thru her.

  • Leslee January 30, 2018 at 6:53 am

    I haven’t read the Elizabeth Smart book and I know I could not. I read the Jaycee Dugard book (girl who was kidnapped and held for years and had children by her captor) & it has stayed with me and bothered me for years! And yet…yes…I felt that the same that I needed to read it and finish it because this girl lived it! I’m not sure I could handle another! I have seen her speak and she’s so brave!

  • Shannon Dobbs January 30, 2018 at 6:54 am

    The second book from the Outliers series is already out. It is called the Scattering. The third book comes out in May. Thanks for another great review. I added a few to my to read list 😀

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 7:14 am

      See! I don’t know what I’m talking about 😉 . Ordering now!!

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams January 30, 2018 at 6:54 am

    Wow these do sound intense! I want to read the Elizabeth Smart book because I’m in awe of her and how she seems to lead her life after a horrific event. Adding some of these to my own list. I just finished a recommendation of yours from last year: The Cozy Life (Hygge) and it was great! Perfect get to the point book on the hygge topic!
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • DG January 30, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Love your selection! Just read Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson. Really enjoyed it!
    Also, have you read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo? Lovely story and the most published book in Brazil.
    Thanks for sharing your selection—-I am a reader and always looking for new books and ideas!

  • Ashley January 30, 2018 at 7:05 am

    I am with you on The Last Mrs. Parish! I wanted everyone to read so we could talk about it! And I really hope they turn it into a movie.

  • Mother Henn January 30, 2018 at 7:10 am

    I’ve been wanting to read the Elizabeth Smart story, but am scared I’ll never let my daughters sleep alone again. I’ve imagined what she went through, but don’t know if my heart can take actually knowing it. But then you said, “You can’t read this story? These things actually happened to this poor child and you can’t even read about it?”. I need to read it, and then use it to have some very real conversations with my girls.

  • Anne January 30, 2018 at 7:10 am

    I just finished The Last Mrs. Parrish and felt the exact same way. I loved it!!! Once I got to the second part of the book I could not put it down. I have heard mumblings of Reese Witherspoon picking up this book with her production company. 🤞

  • sydnee January 30, 2018 at 7:14 am

    So many good reads! I have The Girl with Seven Names on hold.

    x S | Design by Sydnee 💗

  • Janelle Guaraldi January 30, 2018 at 7:14 am

    If you like “chick lit” I feel like you’d really enjoy some of Cecelia Ahern’s books. She’s Irish and the author of P.S I Love You. I think I’ve read most of her books but “Love Rosie”, “The Marble Collector”, and “The Gift” stick out the most to me. Also, this isn’t chick lit, but they did make an amazing movie out of it, “Brooklyn” by Colm Toibin, who is also Irish. I guess I really enjoy Irish authors, haha.

  • Kathryn Waeghe January 30, 2018 at 7:16 am

    How ironic! I read the Elizabeth Smart book this month as well. I get most of my book recommendations from you and Ashley Spivey but I also am spending a lot of money on books that I finally got my library card renewed and this book was one with no wait! I agree with everything you said, I couldn’t put the Elizabeth Smart book down and read it in 2 days. I was glad she didn’t go into graphic (step by step) details about the rapes but you are right it was hard to read knowing she went through it and so many other children do as well. I would recommend it to anyone! I’m know going to read the Escape from N. Korea Book next.

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 8:10 am

      I love, love, love Ashley Spivey!! And yes, she has FANTASTIC book reviews!!!

  • Kelly Franks January 30, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Soooo….you definitely have been one of the most influential people in getting me to read more! I’ve always loved reading but it fell to the wayside as I got older. Here in the past couple of years I’ve started reading more and my husband even got me a paperwhite for Christmas (obsessed already) bc he knows how much I love to read. I’ve put all of these on my list of books to read for 2018! I’ve already read two by Kristan Higgins this month. Her and Elin Hilderbrand are my favorite fiction writers. Thanks for all the great recommendations and helping us to see that there is always time to read! Now if I could just get my friends to read more so we can talk about ALL THE BOOKS!

  • Kathryn Waeghe January 30, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Oh and I would recommend another heavy one for a later month, “Before We Were Yours”. Same thing- hard to read but I do want to adopt or foster one day and I knew I had to read it. This book is fictional but based on the true events of the adoption ring in Tennessee in the 1950’s. And a light read I wold recommend anything by the co-authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. I really like “The Status of all Things”. But all of their books are easy, light reads that aren’t the typical expected books. I feel guilty adding them to my book count each month because they are a breeze to read!

    • Jean E January 30, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Before We Were Yours was so well written and such an interesting story. Does anyone have other Lisa Wingate books they would recommend?

      • Deb January 30, 2018 at 11:14 am

        “The Prayer Box” and “Sisters” by Lisa Wingate were great reads!

        • Jean E January 30, 2018 at 3:52 pm

          Thank you Deb!

    • Beth January 30, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Before We Were Yours was sooooo good!

  • Jenn January 30, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Have you read Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave? It’s about a 35 y/o with a dream life – married to a wonderful man, line of best selling cookbooks and internet fame – but then she is hacked! You’d probably have fun seeing some similarities. I haven’t read the author’s other book, Eight Hundred Grapes, but it’s even more highly rated!

    • Renee January 30, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      I loved Eight Hundred Grapes.

  • Nicki January 30, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I know you have read Taylor Jenkins Reid and I finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by her this weekend. So good! I liked this better than Forever, Interrupted and probably tied with One True Loves.

  • jamie January 30, 2018 at 7:33 am

    wowzers: this book review! excited to add these beauties to my reading list! i have not read elizabeth smart’s book yet. but i can say this from following her on social media {where i know things aren’t perfect despite photos, etc} and just knowing her past: ONLY GOD. ONLY GOD could have brought that beautiful young woman to wear she is today. my eyes fill with tears when i say that. i cried when i was telling my son {on the way to school this morning} about your book review. ONLY GOD.

    • jamie January 30, 2018 at 7:34 am

      and when i say {wear} i mean {where}, of course…

  • Celina January 30, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I knew you would love Parrish!! I think I’ve mentioned it before, but Eight Hundred Grapes is light, easy chick lit that I know you’ll enjoy! I’ve had What She Knew on my TBR and love Kristan Higgins.:)

  • Nora Segrest January 30, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I just finished The Things We do for Love by Kristin Hannah. And Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Both books were amazing. Very interested to see what you think of Little Fires Everywhere.. Love your blog!!

  • Natalie Alvarado January 30, 2018 at 7:50 am

    I read 7 books this month too! And one was The Last Mrs. Parrish. Could not put it down.
    Please read Castle of Water. I think you would love it!

    • Kelly Sites January 30, 2018 at 8:20 am

      AGREE 100% to Castle of Water…one of my fav books of 2017

  • Kathryn January 30, 2018 at 7:51 am

    If you are interested in protecting yourself and educating your children on how to protect themselves I would encourage you to check out Damsel In Defense and find a local Damsel Pro. We sell personal defense items including personal alarms kids can attach to their backpack. To facilitate those “hard” discussions we have the Safe Hearts books and a board game that comes with a parents guide. If you are interested in checking out the products you can check out my link here: https://www.mydamselpro.net/KATHYLONG/ I would be happy to answer any question you have and help you find a local rep if you want. We just launched Warrior Workshops where you can learn about protecting yourself and gets some hands-on experience with the products and learn how to use them and layer protection throughout your house.

  • Erin January 30, 2018 at 7:51 am

    I think Elizabeth Smart is amazing! Definitely want to read that book. I talked my book club into reading the secret life of violet grant based on your 2017 year in review. Excited to start it!

  • Megan Doubrava January 30, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson is one of my favorite chick lit books. Every couple years i re read it. As soon as i finish it i want to start it again! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is another great one!

    • Shana January 31, 2018 at 1:27 am

      Loved loved loved Guernsey Literary and Potato
      Peel Pie Society!! Sooo good, I read it twice.

  • Amber January 30, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Oh my word I LOVED The Last Mrs. Parrish-I’ve been recommending it to everyone! Fingers crossed that Reese Witherspoon will turn it into a movie!!! Such a great book! Thanks for the recommendations Shay- I look forward to this post every month!

  • Rebecca Jo January 30, 2018 at 7:55 am

    I listened to Elizabeth Smart read that on audiobook… to hear it in her voice – chilling. Definitely has stuck with me as well

  • Sloan January 30, 2018 at 7:57 am

    In February (and throughout the year), I’m really going to try to read books by black authors for Black History Month. The Hate U Give is at the top of that list, as well as some Roxanne Gay.

    • Sara January 30, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      I finished The Hate U Give about a week ago & really enjoyed it.

  • Lisa D January 30, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Ahhh! So many great books, where’s the time? Between trying to catch up on reading the books I already own, keeping up with Bible Study reading, and “living life”….. I can’t keep up.😬 Thanks for the recommendations. My Amazon cart is full!

  • Julie January 30, 2018 at 8:04 am

    ‘The Story of Arthur Truluv’/Elizabeth Berg is a light and happy read! Beautiful story about an elderly widow who befriends a troubled teen :).

  • Brittney D. January 30, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Shay or any others that have read them both – which do I choose first?! Elizabeth Smart or Hyeonseo Lee?! Thank you for your great recommendations (always!)

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 8:09 am

      I would say to start with Elizabeth Smart. They’re both so good!

  • Terri D. January 30, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Hi Shay!
    I love your book review each month! I just have to say that I read “The Girl with Seven Names” and have been recommending it to everyone!!! What a fantastic book and such insight into life in North Korea. I’m so glad you read it and enjoyed it !! 🙂

  • Laura January 30, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I look forward to this monthly post on what you’ve read. I am a voracious reader, too, and get so addicted to a book that I will stay up way into the wee hours of the morning to finish! I read the first few chapters of The Last Mrs. Parrish and just could not get into it. Maybe I’ll pick it back up and work my way to the middle where it gets more interesting. Not chick lit, but all of the Will Trent series books by Karin Slaughter are the detective stories you can’t put down. You need to read them in order. The first is Triptych, and the last is The Kept Woman. So good!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 8:08 am

      KEEP GOING!!!!!

  • Kayla January 30, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Love love your reviews!!! Check out Renee Carlino. I read her novel Wish You Were Here after you recommended One True Loves. Similar in how it sticks with you. I’m reading Swear on This Life now and I’m having the same problem— not being able to put it down!!!

  • Jessie January 30, 2018 at 8:11 am

    I just finished “The Alice Network” and “Beneath the Scarlet Sky”. “Beneath the Scarlet Sky” is based on a true story and I believe they are making it into a movie soon. They are not really light reads….but you should definitely read them!

    • Sara January 30, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      I’m reading The Alice Network right now & am really liking it!

    • Meredith January 30, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      I just finished The Alice Network (another Reese Witherspoon pick!) and I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it!! I put it up there with Unbroken and the Nightingale.

  • Lauren January 30, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I looove your book reviews, keep them coming!

  • Danielle Smith January 30, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Tattoos on The Heart! Seriously SO good!

  • Brooke January 30, 2018 at 8:18 am

    This is kind of off subject but my family really enjoyed the family advent book that you posted about at Christmas time. I would like something similar as a count down to Easter. If you know of anything, will you please share it? Thanks!

  • Kelly Sites January 30, 2018 at 8:18 am

    oh my gosh, your book reviews are the BEST. I wrote two books down from your list that I need to read (I read several of your suggestions already).

    You must read:

    The Waiting (true story about a strong woman) and The Wife Between Us (so good, and a suspense/thriller)

  • Amber Vance January 30, 2018 at 8:21 am

    I LOVE your reviews!! Thanks for seven new books to add to my list! 🙂

  • Heidi January 30, 2018 at 8:23 am

    I have a hard time bringing up such horrific topics with my children! Just curious how your kids respond and if they get scared by the information? My children tend to be a little anxious and I’m worried I will create more fear in them.

    • Mix and Match Mama January 30, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Based on so many things Elizabeth said in her book, we just wanted our kids to know that they should SCREAM. “Bad guys” might say horrible things, but if kids don’t alert someone, what chance do they have? Multiple times, she could have alerted someone during her 9 months, but she was scared. We really wanted our kids to know NOT to go to the next place. Scream and make a scene before you go. We also told them not to believe the bad guys. Whatever they say, assume it’s a lie. They were tough conversations, but after reading this book, we thought they were necessary. (By the way, that’s good advice for adults too, right?!)

      • Heidi January 30, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        Thanks for the advice! Great for everyone to know. I just hate that we have to have these kind of conversations:(.

      • Lisa N January 31, 2018 at 7:18 am

        When my girls were in elementary school I would tell them that if someone came up to them and told them that me, their daddy (or any other close family member or friend) was hurt and they needed to come with them to see _________, Don’t Do It! Along with everything else I could think of that someone might use to persuade a child.

        Great job of raising four wonderful kids and knowing how to encourage their strengths!

        • Patty January 31, 2018 at 6:07 pm

          We gave our kids a code word when they were little. If anyone they didn’t know approached them and said we needed them, they had to know the code word. Obviously, that wouldn’t help if they were overpowered, but it was a start. As adults, they still know that word.

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick January 30, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Yes yes yes for the What She Knew, the new Kristan Higgins and The Last Mrs. Parrish!! I was telling Erika at the game that y’all need to read The Wife Between Us!! Whoa baby. You won’t know what hit you!! That Inspired Chick

    • Ramona Greenspan January 30, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      That’s on my to-read list!!!! 🙂

  • Erin H January 30, 2018 at 8:29 am

    These all sound amazing. The biggest question – where to start?!

  • Ruth January 30, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I definitely want to read Elizabeth smarts book. I was riveted to the news when that all happened. I clearly remember driving home from college with a car full of friends when they announced on the news that she had been found alive.

  • Tina January 30, 2018 at 8:47 am

    I love a good thriller! Added The Last Mrs. Parrish to my list! If you are looking for another one to keep you guessing try “Best Day Ever” by Kaira Rouda. I reviewed it in my January book review.

  • Laci January 30, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Whoa! Lots of good books this month!

  • Kate R January 30, 2018 at 8:47 am

    My first book of 2018 was “Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to read it again and take notes. Excellent book!

  • Amber January 30, 2018 at 8:52 am

    You must read the book Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray. She has a blog that started with her recapping episodes of The Bachelor but she has now written a book. It is SO GOOD!! She talks about her life, how she got into writing, and how her faith in God has gotten her through some pretty tough times. I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s a quick, easy, light read!!

  • cassie {hi sugarplum} January 30, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Such awesome book suggestions….added pretty much all of them to my Amazon cart! I’ve been reading some really meaty, heart-tugging books lately too. And while I love them, I’ll def be ready for beach reads in a few months!

  • Sheila January 30, 2018 at 9:13 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for including the mentions of the books that are more rated R. Just because for me personally I choose not to read those. And sometimes you don’t know going into it that it will be that way. So I appreciate you adding that in your reviews 😉

  • Keisha Dawson January 30, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Always my favorite post each month! My library had Elizabeth Smart available on audio book, so I’m planning to listen as I work today!

  • Erin January 30, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Can I recommend the Alice Network to keep you on your strong woman path?! It was my best book in 2017!

  • Taylor January 30, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I have been studying for boards so I haven’t been able to read as much as I want too so far this year but this review has me looking forward to when I’m done and will have more time!! I watched the Elizabeth Smart documentary a couple months ago and was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time!! I have so much respect for her.
    PS: I’m working my way through Crazy Rich Asians right now and loving it.

  • Christina January 30, 2018 at 9:21 am

    I LOVE your monthly book reviews!! I recently joined Ashley Spivey’s Facebook book club and between that and you, I’m going to have to start a list of the books that I want to read so I don’t miss any!

  • Suzanne January 30, 2018 at 9:21 am

    You should check out L R Nicolello. Her debut novel “Dead Don’t Lie” is another intense read, and is impossible to put down! So So Good!

  • Abbey January 30, 2018 at 9:23 am

    YAY!! I love your monthly book reviews, but this might be my favorite in a long while!! I was so excited to see some non-fiction reviews!! Thanks, Shay!!

  • Eileen January 30, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Love book review day! I just finished John Grisham’s book The Rooster Bar. I couldn’t put it down. I felt like it was a classic Grisham book.

  • Heather January 30, 2018 at 9:36 am

    A really great book that is set in Paris is I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake. It just came out and is getting great reviews.

  • Lindsey January 30, 2018 at 9:37 am

    So I’m coming upon 9.5 (one book was started in December) books this month and four were based on your recommendations: The Identicals, Class Mom, On Second Thought, and One True Loves. So thank you for that! I also read Mrs. Parrish recently– wow! One notable book you may like, is called Alex Approximately. It’s essentially a teen version of You’ve Got Mail.

    Can’t wait to see what you read next month!

  • Lauren January 30, 2018 at 9:41 am

    The Girl You Left Behind and The Last Letter From Your Lover both by JoJo Moyes are fantastic! Both are told from different perspectives and jump back and forth from past to present. Highly recommend them both!

  • Meg January 30, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I LOVE your monthly reviews! Thank you for putting the time and effort into recapping for us! I read 8 in January and had several stand-outs. Beneath a Scarlet Sky was unreal! (Going to be a movie soon.) Tough in the beginning with all the descriptions of the Alps but keep with it because it is SO good! It’s the true story of a 16 year old boy from Milan who, during WWII, leads Jews over the Alps to safety and then becomes an Allied spy. My jaw was on the floor the whole book. The man is still alive today and never told even his (adult) kids about his story…the author uncovered what was largely, a forgotten story of utter heroism. Will for sure be one of my top favorites of the year! My non-fiction winner was Rebekah Lyons’ You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are. Loved it!

  • Hannah Reinholt January 30, 2018 at 10:13 am

    I love this book review!! I can’t wait to go pick some of these up. Also another great read is The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. It is AMAZING. I read it in two days because I couldn’t put it down. I would go as far as saying it is the best book I have ever read!!

  • Carin Asby January 30, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Have you read anything by Ann Patchett? I just read “Bel Canto” and loved it. Not my typical read, but it was lovely. I buy books at an independent bookshop where the ladies love to recommend books. They were so right about this one!

  • Carly January 30, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Oh. My. Gosh. I clicked on The Girl With Seven Names, and got sucked in the preview from Amazon lickety split! I’m trying it out on the audiobooks trial, and I can’t wait to listen to it on my lunch break and commute. Thanks for the great lead!

  • Aundi January 30, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Along the same lines as your first two books this month is Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus by Rifqa Bary. It is SO good and will for sure inspire your faith.

  • Robin January 30, 2018 at 10:38 am

    The Things We Wish Were True- $1.99 for Kindle right now!

  • Katie January 30, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Have you read the Little Paris Bookshop? Our book club is just starting it!!

  • Ashley January 30, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Other stories about captivity that you would love- A House In The Sky, Escape From Camp 14, Somewhere Inside: One sisters captivity in North Korea and the other’s fight to bring her home.

    • Caroline Klobas January 30, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      “Escape From Camp 14” and “Somewhere Inside” were both great! I especially ‘enjoyed’ “Somewhere Inside” if you can use that verb because it’s a sister story too, and I have a twin sister. 🙂

  • Kristine G. January 30, 2018 at 11:00 am

    So glad you liked Now That You Mention It! 🙂 It was such a fun, easy read. I totally want to travel to Scupper Island and live on a house boat now! I’m not in the place right now for any heavy books with the recent passing of my mom. I’ll take all the recommendations for light chick little reads!

  • Brooke January 30, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I have to agree with Castle of water. It’s not a chik lit but soooooo good. Please pick it up, you will LOVE it 😉
    Thank you for a super good review month once again! I looking forward to more reads this month and yes need to add a few lovey dovey ones for the month of ❤️

  • mindy January 30, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I haven’t finished it yet, but I already recommend I’m Not, But I Know I Am by Louie Giglio. Amazing!!

  • Jenny January 30, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I am almost done with The Last Mrs. Parrish. LOVE it. I hate putting it down, but a girl’s gotta sleep. 🙂 Love the book recs, I’ve added to my B&N wish list.

  • Emma Luongo January 30, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Loved “What She Knew”! I read “The Hate That U Give” over the holidays and it was one of my favorite books of the year! Would be interested to see a book review from you on it!

  • Stacey January 30, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Your review of the Elizabeth Smart book is exactly how I felt reading Jaycee Duggars book. Both girls are so inspiring that they have overcome such horrific things.
    I love all of your book reviews!

  • Amanda H. January 30, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Girl, you gotta read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I feel like it is right up your ally! It is about a girl and her 4 younger sisters who become part of a tragic situations where they are separated form their parents and end up in an orphanage. It then cuts to present day and a girl delving into her past, asking questions and figuring about about her life before she was there’s. It is a novel but it is based on a real life scandal with Georgia’s orphanages. I thought you would really enjoy it, and I don’t think you have read it yet.

  • Nicole January 30, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Just reading the titles I knew you were down deep with your books this month. 7 heavy books is a lot for a heart. I’m sure you gained a lot of perspective. You’ve completely convinced me to read the Girl With Seven Names Book. Thanks!

  • Caroline Klobas January 30, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Have you read “Me Before You” and “After You”? The third installment of JoJo Moyes’ books about Louisa Clark comes out TODAY!

    And if you’re a Kristin Hannah fan, her latest “The Great Alone” also comes out today!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2018 at 5:29 am

      I have read both of those! I didn’t know there was a third installment. Thank you!!!

    • Shalimar February 1, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      I just found out about the 3rd also! Exciting.

  • Cathy January 30, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Have you read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith? It is fantastic. I reread it every few years it’s so good!

  • Lisa January 30, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I always get so many great reads from your monthly reviews! Finishing up Troublemaker now and then can’t wait to start the Elizabeth Smart and Hyeonseo Lee books. I just read three pretty good ones; Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin, Inside the O’briens by Lisa Genova, and Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff (wife of the injured journalist Bob Woodruff). Can’t wait for next month’s review!

  • Sally Hepworth January 30, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Book review day is my favourite! I’m just starting The Wife Between Us. I will report back next month. Also on my kindle is Kristin Hannah’s new book, The Great Alone xx

  • Bridget January 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    The second book in the Outliers series, the Scattering is out to read. It is very good as well! There is a 3rd book that comes out this May. I also read Kimberly’s other books and I think you would enjoy them as well. I highly recommend Reconstructing Amelia, it is my favorite one of Kimberly’s books!

  • Dana C January 30, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    You should read Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover! I know you really liked her It Ends with Us (Which I haven’t read yet so I can’t make a comparison) but Maybe Someday is definitely a light chic lit read. It revolves around music which i’m such a sucker for, and it was really cool to see music in general play such a major roll in a book. The book has really interesting, and all different characters that made the book so neat to read from different peoples point of views. Definitely worth a shot, its a quick read!

  • Jeni January 30, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It is being released next week but I already received my pre-order and finished it. She writes as if she’s talking to her girlfriends (which I thought was great) so maybe not your typical book but it is a quick read. She is faith based and writes about lies she’s believed throughout her life and how/what she learned from them. Plus, Rachel is just a fun and relatable person. Definitely worth the quick read.

  • Sarah January 30, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Shay. How can someone from Africa buy your cookbooks without having to pay the excessive shipping costs?

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2018 at 5:28 am

      Good question…and I don’t know the answer. I’m sorry!!

  • Brooke January 30, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    I don’t do “fuff” books so this list makes me happy!

  • Sara January 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Your book reviews always inspire & motivate me to read more! I have 4 kids too so I got a Paperwhite for Christmas & now I read in the car & while I’m sitting at piano & guitar & tumbling… LOL!

    I have to nominate Castle of Water – it was mentioned a few times above. I LOVED it.

    Also, I live in the Salt Lake area and vividly remember when Elizabeth Smart went missing. So terrifying! And I’ll never forget 9 months later when she was found only a few miles from our home! As difficult as it was to read, her book amazed me. And it also prompted lots of discussions in our home. What a survivor! And I love knowing that part of what got her through her ordeal was her firm knowledge of her mother’s love for her. I hope to be that kind of mother.

    Thanks for the great reviews!!

  • Ramona Greenspan January 30, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    This I my absolute favorite day of the month. I can’t wait to get all of these books. Might I suggest Woman in the Window bun AJ Finn. I think you’d really like it. Happy reading.

  • Lauren Austin January 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Seeing the picture of you and Bethany is like having two worlds collide! Talk about a small world. I lived with Bethany my sophomore year at Baylor and what a FUN year that was with her!! She always kept us on our toes and lived life BIG! I’m so glad ya’ll know each other and I’m so proud of her new book!!

  • Liz January 30, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Loved your book review today, Shay! I am picking up The Girl with Seven Names, tomorrow and reading it for my book club of 20 years! I’m excited to read it! I’m wondering if it will remind me of First They Killed My Father, by Leong Ung? I read that book about 15 years ago and heard the author speak about 10 years ago. It is her story about escaping from Cambodia as a very young child. I heard Elizabeth Smart speak about 3-4 years ago and was completely stunned by her grace, courage, strength and lovely spirit and attitude! I will read her book.

  • K&E January 30, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Love this. We were just looking for more non-fiction books and found this! Can’t wait to dig in. Xoxo, K&E

  • Michelle January 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I get so excited seeing your book reviews. I’ve read most of your recommendations and never been disappointed !
    I just finished One True Loves and it was amazing ! I can’t wait to read these ! I’ve always read romance novels (chic lit) until reading your book reviews and now I’ve branched out to thriller/suspense. Now…. I’m obsessed with them ! Thanks for sharing.

  • Maria Ortiz January 30, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I loooove your book reviews! Look forward to them! I have added some of these to my TBR pile! #happyreading 😊

  • Katie A January 30, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I was a teen when Elizabeth smart was kidnapped and we lived close (10 minute drive) and her story was so scary when it was happening. I haven’t been able to bring myself to read her book yet. I remember it like it was yesterday when she was kidnapped and again when she was found. I remember watching her dad pleading for help. I have this book on my nightstand, I guess it’s time I read it. I just can’t even imagine what she went through!

  • Lisa Sipe January 30, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Please read Same Kind of Different As Me! It is such a beautiful and inspiring true story about a couple from Ft.Worth that open a homeless shelter!

  • Mackenzie January 30, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I also LOVED It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover but wasn’t a fan of Slammed. I like some of her books better than others. November 9 I also really really loved- read it in one plane ride. And Ugly Love was also good (though had a very sad scene). Just some recommendations- I love reading yours!

  • Mary Jane McNeill January 30, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Elizabeth Smart is my hero. I read her book two years ago and it has stuck with me. Only with GOD could she overcome her trauma.

    And you being a Texan, you should pick up the Bush twins’ book, “Sisters First”. They were a handful growing up and had some pretty funny experiences.

  • Alexis January 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    The best sweet and hard to put down romance novel I’ve read in awhile was Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino. SO GOOD!!! Got the rec from Ashley Spivey’s book club and flew through it. Fast read and kept my attention…and LOVED this story!!! You’d love it!

  • Tamara R. January 30, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    A really cute, light, chic lit read is I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. I breezed through it and loved it!

  • Karah Stracener January 30, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    I am always your anticipating your book reviews every month. I am very interested in reading Elizabeth Smarts story. I remember wRching the news when she was rescued and I had no idea she had a book out. I just finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah after putting it off for so long. I loved it so much and can’t stop thinking about it. I think I might add every one of these books to my Amazon cart now.

  • KD January 30, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    I just finished a great book – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I’m kind of sad it’s over!

  • Christine W. January 30, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Hi Shay! Just wanted you to know that you made me a reader! After college (over 20 years ago) I never wanted to pick up another book. I was happy to read my Instyle and People Magazines. A year or so ago I started reading your book reviews and started requesting them at the library using my kids library card! I love the suspense books you suggest and have read so many as well as books like Class Mom. I always had friends tell me that I had to read the book they were reading and I was never interested. So thanks for making me a reader at the age of 42!😘

  • Kelley January 31, 2018 at 12:00 am

    I look forward to book review day every month. So many great book suggestions, both from you and in all the comments! I agree with the others that you must read Before They Were Yours. It is one that has really stuck with me.

  • Patricia January 31, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Hi Shay! I’m a long-time reader posting my first comment. I am adding all these books to my list, and I can’t wait to read them! I just delivered a baby girl less than a week ago (after struggling with infertility), and I hear I’ll need to keep myself occupied during those nursing sessions so these recs come at the perfect time! I would definitely recommend reading “Somewhere Inside” by Laura and Lisa Ling, if you haven’t already. It’s the story of Laura Ling’s capture and escape from North Korea told from Laura and her sister’s perspectives. It was a true page-turner!

  • Nikki January 31, 2018 at 9:16 am

    I would recommend Charles Martin’s books! Check him out on Goodreads, they are SO good! The Mountain Between Us, When Crickets Cry, Water from my heart, A life intercepted… You can’t go wrong!!

  • mary January 31, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Woah nonfiction books!! I only read nonfiction so I usually only skim your book reviews, but I am super excited because I have not read the two you recommended. I also want to suggest to anyone who my have a hard time finding time to sit down and read, try the app Audible. Listening to books while I am on the go is the only way I can squeeze in book time. Audible is owned by Amazon, so the book options are endless 🙂

  • Tracy January 31, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Adding a few of these to my Goodreads list. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenna Baum January 31, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    The Waiting by Cathy Lagrow, was by far my favorite book in a long time!

  • Maria Thomas January 31, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin…football, a love story, suspense. You will NOT be disappointed!

  • Shannon Gifford January 31, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Tip of the Day… The Last Mrs Parrish is 50% off at Books A Million!!! Just grabbed my copy tonight!

  • LeAnn February 1, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Shay, which book would you recommend to read first; What She Knew or The Outliers?!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      I’m going to say What She Knew!

  • Jessica Shrock February 1, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Books I have read recently and would recommend:
    When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
    Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
    The Royal We by Heather Cooks
    Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance
    The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  • Shalimar February 1, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I think you’d love The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow. It’s a memoir about an adoption story. Have Kleenex handy! May possibly be my favorite of 2018 and it’s only January.

    Also, did you read Secrets of a Charmed Life? So beautiful I couldn’t wait to find out the ending then was so sad it ended. I loved the characters that much.

    Here’s my book review from January which included recommendations from you. Thank you!


  • Meg February 1, 2018 at 9:46 am

    So I just read Elizabeth Smart’s book in one day. All I can say is wow. I’m going to be processing this one for a while, hugging my daughter a little tighter the whole time.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm


  • Sherrie February 2, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I always look forward to your monthly book reviews! Just ordered The Last Mrs Parrish! First to finish The Woman in the Window! Don’t know if I got that one form you or somewhere else. Think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

  • Debbie Dunbar February 2, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    I know that you have read books by Karen Kingsbury before. Her newest, In This Moment, is exceptional. I love your book reviews! Thanks for sharing!

  • Shiho February 5, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I read The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Girl with Seven Names this month too and loved them both a lot! To kick off the month of February I just finished What Alice Forgot (by Liane Moriarty) and really enjoyed it. My next book is Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo since I saw it recommended by so many book bloggers, then All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, then hopefully Woman in Cabin 10. Thanks for sharing your list. I get so excited about your book review every month!

  • Michelle Bradley February 6, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I LOVE these book reviews ! Right now I’m reading beneath a scarlet sky and it’s amazing! They are in production to make it a movie as well. I want to read the Elizabeth smart story as well. I saw her documentary and she is just the strongest women especially after all she went through!

  • Rebecca Rooney February 7, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Wow, so many great books to add to my list. Your reviews got me onto Kristan Higgins, I’m now reading one of hers a month, they’re always so great! Have you seen that Sophie Kinsellas latest book came out today?

  • Amanda Peterson February 7, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Gosh, I hope they turn the Last Mrs. Parrish into a movie too! Such a great book recommendation. I’m about 50 pages away from the end. It’s so good, I can’t put it down.

  • AmandaG February 7, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I once read a preview of a story where a girl was kidnapped that was probably around 20-ish pages and I was not good for a while. Just from the preview. It makes me think I could NOT read a whole book. I do have conversations with my kids about what to do/not do in certain situations (i.e., “your Daddy and I would not send a stranger to pick you up or take you from the park.”) It’s scary. But, it’s best to talk about it rather than pretend like it could never happen (IMHO). If you’re looking for light reads I would HIGHLY recommend Julie James. I am a fan of banter in books. She has great banter. There is usually an intimate scene in her books, but if that doesn’t bother you, then you should check them out. “Practice Makes Perfect” made me literally laugh out loud and books do not usually do that. [If anyone has any recommendations on books with good banter, please let me know!]

  • Mackenzie February 22, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Have you ever tried any books by Kate Morton? They are in the same category as Beatriz Williams books- usually jumping time periods and a bit heavier then chick-lit but still with romance involved. And incredibly readable. All of Morton’s books are great but The House at Riverton and The Lake House are my favorites.

  • jamie February 23, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    HOLY MOLY, shay. i am reading {the last mrs. parrish}. it is 11:40pm michigan time. how am i ever going to put this book down and go to sleep? i have a little over 100 pages left. OH MY GOODNESS??!?!!!!!