April 2018 Book Review {GIVEAWAY!}

Happy Book Day, friends!!
You know this is my favorite post of the whole month because we share our most recent READS!!
This week, I’ve decided to declare it GIVEAWAY WEEK!
I don’t know.  Tomorrow is May, the weather is getting warmer and I just want to share the love with you guys!  I’m going to do a couple of giveaways this week and they’re all going to be a little different (and pretty random).
Today, I’m asking you to invite your friend to “book club”.  This is an Instagram giveaway.  Find this graphic on my Instagram…
April Book Review
…and then comment and tag one friend telling them to come by my little book club and check out this month’s reads.  On Wednesday, I will pick 10 lucky winners and those 10 people plus the people they tagged (making it 20 people total) will each get to pick one of the books I’ve read so far this year and I will ship them to you.
Make sense?
To see a running list of the books I’m reading this year, click HERE.
You and your friend each pick one of the books from 2018 list and I’ll send them to you to read.  Fun?  Maybe?  Don’t worry if you’re not on Instagram, the other giveaways this week will be different.  This contest is open to US residents only (sorry, friends!)
So, let’s get started.  I read FOUR books this month that you too might enjoy starting with…
Wow!  I could not put this book down!  I know that so many of you know podcaster Jamie Ivey.  This is her first book and it’s a memoir about her life in high school, college and then as a young single.  I have had the honor of getting to know Jamie (she has also adopted several kiddos and is a Texan like me!), and have always loved her, but this book really made me love her even more.  This book is raw, y’all.  It’s told from the perspective of someone who is a Christian, but in it, she really shares her own personal struggle with finding her identity and self-worth outside of a man.  I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s just her really laying it all out there about her own struggles as a young woman and even how they have bled into her life today.  This book is just really encouraging.  If you’re needing a book based on faith with a little encouragement and a few good laughs, here you go.
Holy. Cow.
I was reading The Wife Between Us while my girls were in their dance classes and at one point, I audibly gasped and my friend Megan asked me if I was okay.
It’s that kind of book.
If you like those fictional tales like The Last Mrs. Parrish or Lie To Me, you will LOVE this one!!!  This book was one of the ones you ladies highly recommended last month, and I’m so glad you did because I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  I just wanted this one to be over so that I knew how it ended.  The name pretty much sums it up…it’s about a woman and how she’s dealing/not quite dealing with her ex-husband’s new fiance.
It’s a great little thrilling read!!
The third book I read this month was Sophie Kinsella’s Surprise Me.  It wasn’t my fave.  Boo.  I typically love Kinsella books.  They’re always quirky, funny, light little novels that just make me happy.  This one wasn’t bad, it was just okay.  I read this one on my Kindle and about a third of the way in, I had to grab my phone and go to Amazon to read the description of the book again because I didn’t know where the book was going.   I kind of felt like I was drifting aimlessly through the story and didn’t really get the point of it.  If you haven’t read a Kinsella book before, start with My (Not So) Perfect Life.  That one is really cute!  Anyone else read this one?  It wasn’t bad…it was just kind of blah to me.
My very favorite book of the month was A Nantucket Wedding.
Hands down.
I loved it.
I might have read it when I should have been doing other things just because I loved it so much.
It’s these kinds of books that check all of my boxes: happy, charming, great setting, delicious food, makes you feel good, JUST EASY reads.  If you are looking for a light, beach book/airplane book/just make you happy book, grab this one.  Elin Hilderbrand is my favorite author…but Nancy Thayer is a close second.  This novel is about a newly blended family who comes together for their first summer on Nantucket as their parents are about to marry (all of the children are grown with kids of their own).  Now, I didn’t necessarily love all of the kids and some of the choices they made…but I LOVED the matriarch of the story.  I want to be her.  She was lovely.  I think women of all ages will love this book.  My friends should read it, my mom should read it and hey Grandmother (I know you’re out there), you go buy it too 🙂 .  It was just the perfect summer read.
Okay, that’s my April Book Review!
Now tell me, what did you read this month?  I would love some new chick lit recommendations heading into summer!  Comment and share, please!
And don’t forget…
April Book Review
Find the above pic on Instagram today and tag one person and tell them to come to book club with you today, and then on Wednesday, I’ll draw 10 lucky winners who will each get to pick one book that I’ve read so far this year (to see the 21 choices, click HERE) plus the friend that they tag will get to pick one too.  We can all “read” together!  I have a few more giveaways this week, so come back and see!!
Finally, to see a running list of the books I’m reading this year, click HERE.
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.
Okay, if you are not a reader…what are you binge watching on TV right now?!  Andrew and I just finished Wild Wild Country on Netflix.  What are you watching?!  Someone just told me recently that I would love Suits.  Have you seen it?  Binge watchers unite please!
That’s it for today!!  Happy last day of April, friends!! xo
Congratulations goes to:
@anwzp5 (and @dansuela)
@taylorwilson37 (and @l_aborn)
@jamie_nicole_stein (and @mrshollydwalker)
@arrowoakridgefarm (and @betsybakerguidry)
@jamerzlynn (and @hayaddy09)
@lesliewesten (and @orwigs)
@lkeview (and @ricks5335)
@betsy.ross (and @meglross)
@kkaiser03 (and @_lisa_hall)
@jackmill03 (and @jamielynn10782)
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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 30, 2018 at 4:47 am

    What an amazing giveaway, Shay – one of my favourites of all the ones you’ve offered! I’ve never heard of The Wife Between Us before but it sounds amazing. Just my cup of tea! 😀

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Mia April 30, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Just finished and loved Tangerine (twisted page turner), American Marriage (beautiful writing), and Educated (jaw dropping memoir). Reading The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer…and have a stack on the nightstand that deserve to be opened!

  • Holly April 30, 2018 at 4:58 am

    ‘The Resident’ a new series just out and its great! A different take on a medical drama – I keep on refreshing my browser so I can stream it, with the tricky time difference between the US and New Zealand 🙂

    • jamie April 30, 2018 at 6:07 am

      LOVE LOVE the resident. i told my husband the other day that my stomach is always twisty nervous going into each episode and about the characters that are just horrible people and wondering what they’re going to get away with next. he said {that’s what good writing does}…

    • Julianne C Pasco April 30, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      ditto so good!!

    • fuschia April 30, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Yes! The Resident is a great show!!

  • Taylor April 30, 2018 at 4:59 am

    I’m a night shift nurse and right around 4:30am I started refreshing your page because I was so excited to read the book review today🤣 I just finished Little Fires Everywhere and I had such a love/hate relationship with it! I loved each character during certain parts of the book and strongly disliked each character during certain parts. It definitely challenged me to put myself in the characters shoes. Happy Monday!

  • Madi April 30, 2018 at 5:03 am

    Handmaids Tale 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  • Kim April 30, 2018 at 5:14 am

    I just finished Surprise Me also, and I wasn’t exactly thrilled with it either. First, I was annoyed by how they reacted to hearing they were going to have such a long life together. I mean, wouldn’t that make you happy? Especially coming from a person who lost her father unexpectedly and knows that life can change in an instant. It just seemed ridiculous to me. But I also started wondering where on earth the story was headed. Over all, not my favorite.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 5:26 am

      Right? I was confused. I didn’t understand how that was a bad thing, right???

      • Karen April 30, 2018 at 8:45 am

        Totally agree, I struggled with this book. If you haven’t read After Anna by Lisa Scottoline it’s wonderful and so many twists

        • Morgan Eckert April 30, 2018 at 9:55 pm

          I second After Anna!! Anything by Lisa Scottoline is so good.

  • Sarah April 30, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Hi Shay !
    One of my favorite posts each month too!!
    Will this one be open to non US residents? If you win, you can do a kindle purchase to save on shipping or not? x

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 5:25 am

      I am going to actually ship books (just to keep myself organized), so let’s say this one is open for just US residents. I’m sorry!

  • jamie April 30, 2018 at 5:29 am

    happy last day of april! i own {if you only knew} and i love jamie ivey. {the wife between us} is being held for me at my library right now and i’m picking it up today! i LOVED {the last mrs. parrish} so i’m so excited to read {the wife between us}! enjoy your monday. side note: you can tell it’s the end of the school year here: my son’s 5:30am wake-up time for jazz band is losing its charm. it’s usually on thursdays only, but they added today because there is an upcoming concert. the countdown is on {june 15th here} to the last day of school.

  • Elspeth Mizner April 30, 2018 at 5:29 am

    For book selection, check out the Ken Commandments by Ken Baker. Super good and a fast read. For binge watching, Suits is definitely a good call or The Royals. One is more serious the other is more funny. Hope one of them
    Interests you!

  • Rebecca Rooney April 30, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Yep, I definitely agree with you about Surprise Me. Definitely wasn’t as good as her other books! My faves are the Shopaholic ones, have you read those? I also read The Wife Between Us this month, I liked it, and was definitely surprised but think I would’ve liked it more if I hadn’t read The Last Mrs Parrish first. Next on my list is Lie to Me!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 5:39 am

      Yes! Those are all so cute and easy to read!! You will love Lie to Me!!

      • Rebecca Rooney April 30, 2018 at 5:47 am

        By the way, I LIVE for your book reviews!!!!!!

    • Carly April 30, 2018 at 7:26 am

      Agree completely, Rebecca! I have read far too many books like The Last Mrs. Parrish and Wife Between Is recently so I knew exactly what was coming. I need to take a break with marital strife thrillers apparently ;)!

      Surprise Me was such a disappointment. Love Kinsella, did not love this one! For sure Shopaholic and My Not So Perfect Life!

    • Carly April 30, 2018 at 7:33 am

      ALSO- After you read Lie To Me, I feel like I need a book club just to explain the very last paragraph. The book kept me turning pages, but OH MY GOSH, I hated the ending! Would love to know others’ opinions on what the heck that last paragraph means.

      • Erica April 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        She found the daughter she gave up but is keeping it a secret.

  • Rebecca Rooney April 30, 2018 at 5:34 am

    And yes, Suits is fantastic!

  • Erika Slaughter April 30, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Wahoo!!! Now I want to be super unproductive today, sit in a corner, and just read!!

  • Eileen McCullough April 30, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Love Book Review Day! I read A Nantucket Wedding this month too and loved it. I’ve also recently read and loved The Great Alone and The Dry.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 5:58 am

      The Dry is so good!!!

      • Angie Thomas May 1, 2018 at 9:24 am

        Love the Dry. That authors next book is also great.

  • Sally Hepworth April 30, 2018 at 5:43 am

    I love book review day! I read The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian recently and it was AMAZING. You will love it x

    • Maureen Werner April 30, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Sally, I have a confession to make…my favorite part of book review day is looking for your comment! I love your writing!
      I have 6 kids at home and I homeschool them all! My oldest daughter is graduating in 2 weeks and I also run a tax business, so we have just come out of the dreaded tax season!! So I don’t have time to read all of the books I want to, and I am embarrassed to say I only get to 2-3 books a year!! (I also do read-alouds with my kids, so I am reading a lot, just not my choices!)
      Last year I read Secrets of Midwives!! LOVED IT! And right now I am reading The Family Next Door..SO GOOD!!! I have a love/hate relationship with Book Review Day because I just love to hear what Shay has to say and add more books to my list of must reads…but I hate that I can not fit more reading time into my day!! Oh well, such is the season of life I am in!

      • SS April 30, 2018 at 12:40 pm

        Congrats on graduation!!! Fellow homeschooler here too!!!
        I am in that season, too. We have been reading books… not usually my picks, but some books I haven’t read and wondered how I missed them when I was in school!!!!

      • Amanda Wilson April 30, 2018 at 12:48 pm

        I hear ya!! These reviews are bittersweet for me to!! I had planned to read a book a month this year….I am almost done my second….booooo. I love that you said “the season of life” it is so true!! We will one day have the time to read more!! With all you are doing raising and schooling those babies maybe you will write your own book!!!!!

      • Sally Hepworth April 30, 2018 at 10:14 pm

        Maureen! What a busy lady you are. I’m so flattered that you’ve had time to read two of my books. I always make time for reading right before bed — it might just be a few pages but I can’t sleep without my words 😉

    • Susann April 30, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      Sally, I just finished your book, the family next door, and it was sooooo good!! I’m pretty good at knowing what’s going to happen next and you caught me by surprise so many times and I was thrilled! Good job!

  • caitlin s davies April 30, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Blue Bloods on Netflix and Bosch on Amazon. Both really good!

  • Sheaffer Sims April 30, 2018 at 5:58 am

    I’ve been hearing a lot about Suits too! Need to give it a try!

  • Nikki April 30, 2018 at 5:59 am

    Have you read Katie Davis Majors new book “Dare to Hope?” I think you’d love it. Her first book was Kisses for Katie. Not sure if you’ve heard about her/her story, but she basically left her life here to live full time in Uganda and adopted 14 girls there and now is married and has a son too. She’s incredible and doing awesome work for the Kingdom.

  • Deanna Zehr April 30, 2018 at 6:01 am

    So fun! I also read The Wife Between us and If You Only Knew in April. I’m currently reading A Nantucket Wedding and started Surprise Me awhile ago but couldn’t get through it. It’s safe to say we have similar reading styles. Have a great day!

  • Robin Firestone April 30, 2018 at 6:05 am

    The Wife between Us was sooo good! Have you read I Let you Go by Clare Mackintosh? It is really good!

  • Stacy DeAnda April 30, 2018 at 6:05 am

    Suits is the best!!! I love this book review hopefully one of these will pull me out of my book slump!

  • Sara M Alexander April 30, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Love book review day! Based off your recommendation I read One True Loves and I LOVED it! So well written, I put the rest of the author’s books on hold. I also read The Wedding Date, didn’t really care for it.
    I also read Dating you, Hating you by Christina Lauren. I reminded me of The Hating Game which I LOVED. Happy reading!

  • Nicole April 30, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Mad Men is what I’m currently binge watching!

  • Sharon April 30, 2018 at 6:14 am

    just finished An American Marriage and this has been my favourite book so far this year!

  • Kelly Sites April 30, 2018 at 6:16 am

    I read 7 books in April. My absolute fav (and will probably be one of my top books EVER, was Everybody Always by Bob Goff. A FANTASTIC book. I then read his wife’s book (Maria Goff) Love Lives Here. Also so good. I laughed and cried and high fived……both had great messages. I highly suggest them both, but especially Everybody Always. You will NOT regret it.

    • Jenn April 30, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Kelly, thanks for the recommendation for Everybody Always. Just ordered it!

  • Kristen Walters April 30, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Super excited about the giveaway- who doesn’t love a free book??!! I look forward to your monthly book reviews, every time you post one it makes me smile and I look forward to seeing what you’ve read. So I read Surprise Me! this month too and completely agree it was just so so wasn’t all that impressed, and I was bummed because I was so looking forward to this book! I also read Anna Quindlen’s Alternate Side and kind of felt the same way about that book. I look forward to her new releases however this one just didn’t live up to my excitement. My sis in law lent me a book Little Fires a Everywhere by Celeste Ng, I didn’t know anything about this book before she gave it to me. As an adoptive mom this book was unsettling to read even though our situation is completely different. I read it but when I was through I had so many emotions running through me, and honestly I’m not sure how I felt about the book. My favorite book I read this month was by Holly Peterson, The Manny. Two other books that I read this month and really enjoyed are: What She Knew (Gilly MacMillan)
    All the Missing Girls (Megan Miranda).
    Happy May!!!

  • Lindy April 30, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Running in Heels by Anna Maxted is a good one if you haven’t read it. It’s funny and meaningful! Your typical main character working through relationships and close friendships and finding herself! I learned about it in Cosmopolitan years ago, apparently Sarah Michelle Guellars favorite beach read!

  • Brittany April 30, 2018 at 6:30 am

    I could not get into Surprise Me either! That’s what I get for judging a book by its cute cover! 😉 Have you read Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand? I loved that one! Also, I’m way late to the game on this one, but I am reading Kisses for Katie right now. Amazing story!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 6:54 am

      I love everything by Elin Hilderbrand!!!

  • Beth April 30, 2018 at 6:38 am

    I loved The Wife Between Us! I’m currently reading The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo and it’s so good!

  • Heather April 30, 2018 at 6:40 am

    I loved Wild Wild Country! SO weird. I’m reading “The Power of the Dog” by Don Winslow, and I’m loving it so far.

  • Robin April 30, 2018 at 6:41 am

    I think you will love Suits! I’m still waiting to watch the last season! So I’m pretty sure that almost all the books I read this month are your recommendations (The Family Next Door, The Identicals (uh my new favorite Hilderberand!), Now That You Mention it (kristan Higgins- not sure if you’ve read that one yet; it was only ok) and a biography on Amy Carmichael (I’m making myself read on fiction each month; again only ok). Excited about your giveaway!!

  • Erin Port April 30, 2018 at 6:43 am

    I am reading Marshawn Evans new book, Believe Bigger! We also just started Victoria on Amazon Prime and LOVE it!!! xoxo ERIN

  • Julie April 30, 2018 at 6:43 am

    No one I know liked that Sophie kinsella book. I had very high hopes for it (read it in march) and was bummed too. I did love the Nantucket book and am waiting on the wife book.

  • Holly F. April 30, 2018 at 6:50 am

    If you love quick reads, you have got to start reading the “Stephanie Plum” novels by Janet Evanovich!!! There is suspense, mystery, LOL humor and an awesome love triangle!!!!! She is a female bounty hunter but not a very good one! I can’t put these books down once I start them!!

  • Becky April 30, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I read ‘White Chrysanthemum’ by Mary Lynn Bracht. I have seldom had a book touch me/move me like this one did. It is about two sisters, one in a sense, sacrificing her life for the other. The elder was forced to became a ‘comfort girl’. The younger went through life feeling guilty for what her older sister had done to save her. Continually searching for each other, I could not get enough. Currently our book club is reading ‘Small Great Things’ by Jodi Picoult. I have never read any of her works before, but this is another ‘I cannot get enough’ book. LOVE your book reviews. There are simply too many books and not enough time!

  • Lindsay April 30, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Shay, you should try “Wandelost” by Jen Malone! It’s young adult, but I still think you’d love it. It’s about a girl who has to take her sister’s place as a tour guide leading a group of senior citizens through Europe. It’s sweet, hilarious, takes place in Europe…. what more could you ask for?! 😉 perfect summer read!

  • Mandee April 30, 2018 at 6:57 am

    Suits! Suits! Suits! I’m currently binge watching and ooooh my goodness. Yes. Go watch!

    As far as books…you need to read When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin!!

    • Mary Jane McNeill May 1, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Charles Martin is my FAVORITE author!! The Mountain Between Us is in my Top 10. The book is so different from the movie. Read the book instead!

      • Nikki May 7, 2018 at 2:20 pm

        I agree – Charles Martin’s books are the best!

  • Narci Dreffs April 30, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Eek!!! my favorite post of the month!! Off to amazon to pick up some of these! Yeah!

  • Beth Miller April 30, 2018 at 7:01 am

    You’ve probably already read The Woman in the Window, but I couldn’t put it down! So good and suspenseful! If you loved Rachel Hollis’s book last month, then you need to read her fiction series! She wrote three books that follows a group of three friends. One is loosely based on her life and how she met her husband. I loved them all!

  • Robyn April 30, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Suits is great! I have watched every season. Just a little heads up on the language. I have thought many times about giving it up because there only so many times I can hear the really bad words. But other than that, I love some Harvey Specter!

  • Kelly April 30, 2018 at 7:15 am

    I finished Beneath A Scarlet Sky this month and it was SO good! It’s a historical fiction book based on a true story, so not a light read but a really good story about an Italian teenager during WWII who is forced to join the Nazis. I couldn’t put it down.

  • Abbie April 30, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I have The Wife Between Us on hold at the library, can’t wait!
    Also I think you would like Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I read it last summer and loved it!! So great. Also Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This one is a young adult book that is historical fiction and told from different points of view. Very good!

    • Shalimar April 30, 2018 at 9:06 am

      I agree! I named Small Great Things one of my 2017 favorites. That story stays with me forever!

  • Carly April 30, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Some recent favorites are:
    The Room on Rue Amelie- WWII drama
    Far From the Tree- an incredible YA about adoption!
    Force of Nature- from the same author as The Dry— so good!

  • Alexandra C April 30, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I just finished A Nantucket Wedding last night and LOVED it, too. I’ve been on a big Mary Kay Andrews kick lately, she’s up there with Elin Hilderbrand for me (and has a FABULOUS cookbook called The Beach House Cookbook 10/10 would recommend). As far as binge-able shows, Suits is great, but if you haven’t watched White Collar, you must. Immediately. It’s one of my all time favorite binge shows, and Matt Bomer is all sorts of delicious and the storylines are interesting and it also has Kelly Kapowski. It’s about a mostly ex-con man and art forger on release to the FBI’s White Collar Crimes division.

    • Susanne April 30, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      White Collar is, in my opinion, the best series ever! I absolutely loved it. My husband and I really didn’t know what to do with ourselves when we finished it. I rewatch the final episode all the time. So so good!!!

  • Brea April 30, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Lost in Space… the new Netflix series is good!

  • Maggie April 30, 2018 at 7:48 am

    I just finished reading Winter Garden and it was amazing!! It is by Kristin Hannah (she wrote The Nightingale which is one of my absolute favorites. Winter Garden is about present time and WWII in Russia. Sooooo good!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Yes!!!! I loved that one too!!!

    • Shalimar April 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      I named Nightingale my favorite of 2016 and Winter Garden got my book club’s vote for favorite for 2017. Great Alone is right up there with both!!

  • Nikki J April 30, 2018 at 7:49 am

    My favorite this month was In Plain Sight: The Kaufman County Prosecutor Murders by Kathryn Casey. I would totally encourage you to read it as a DFW resident! We lived in Kaufman County when it all happened in 2013 and my husband was one of the law enforcement officers highly involved in the investigation- he is mentioned in the book and also received some major screen time during the trial- so it was a great read.

  • Kelly April 30, 2018 at 7:54 am

    I read “If You Only Knew” last month as well, L.O.V.E. Jamie Ivey:). Also, No One Ever Asked, by Katie Ganshert. Not sure were I heard about it (maybe from one of your readers:) but it was so good. The book blurb says” challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, three different women navigate challenges in a changing school district and in their lives.” It’s also about marriage, friendship, parenting, adoption, even faith. I also found myself reading it when I really should have been doing something else. I guess that’s when you know it’s a really good book;).

  • Elizabeth April 30, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Suits is amazing! You should definitely watch!!

  • Heather April 30, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Thanks for sharing! Have you read The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper? It was so sweet.

    • Susanne April 30, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      That was such a treat to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Jess at Just Jess April 30, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I am on the last disc of the audiobook of the Wife Between Us and I can’t wait for work to end so I can finish it on my commute! The Sophia Kinsella book is also on my to-read list. I really enjoyed the Alice Network. Not quiet a chick lit for summer but great historical fiction.

  • Julie April 30, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Abbi Waxman’s new book “Other People’s Houses’ was SUCH a fun and light read. She GETS mom stuff and writes LOL paragraphs about the day to day…dealing with kids, husband stuff, her love of COFFEE etc. If you haven’t read her first novel, “The Garden of Small Beginnings” that is also great. “Good-bye Vitamin” (Rachel Khong) is one of my favorite books of last year. It’s about a woman’s sweet relationship with her dad (and her brother), and as you’re close with your dad and brother I think you’d love this book! It’s also very funny. And SHORT. I finished in one day! As always, love your book reviews!

  • Tish Ferry April 30, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I just started the Wife Between Us! EEKK! I ‘m SO excited to read this one! And YES, you MUST watch SUITS! Mark and I have been binge watching this and you’ll love the characters and storyline! Lots of good stuff in one show! Simply Tish

  • Rebecca April 30, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I do ageee on Surprise me! I have read all of Sophie Kinsella’s books and some are better than others but this was may have been my least favorite! I stopped mid way through and read a few other books and then went back to finish when I was bored and I felt like it was a different book! She went in such a strange direction!

  • Amanda April 30, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Designated Survivor, The Good Fight, The resident, Big Little Lies. 😊

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams April 30, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Yay I’m glad you liked A Nantucket Wedding because I read Island Girls this past month by Nancy Thayer and thought it was a 3.5/5. Putting this one on my list then if you really liked it! Always in the mood for warm and delightful beach reads this time of year!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Gail April 30, 2018 at 8:25 am

    ‘Why I Hate Green Beans” by Lincee Ray
    She is funny, sincere, and a great new author! You will love this book.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 11:32 am

      I read this one last month! It was so heart warming!!

  • sydnee April 30, 2018 at 8:28 am

    If you like thrillers, you’ll like “Then She Was Gone”!
    Design by Sydnee 💗

  • Sarah Parsons April 30, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I read Mystic Summer by Hannah McKinnon this month and it was great. An easy summer-type read. I think you would really love Kristy Woodson Harvey’s books. The first 2 in her Peachtree Bluff series are out, Slightly South of Simple and The Secret to Southern Charm. Elin Hilderbrand called her “the next major voice in Southern fiction”. I am reading Lies and Other Acts of Love now and keep avoiding other responsibilities to read :). I also read The Young WIves Club this month. It was light and entertaining. Happy Reading!

  • Alexis deZayas April 30, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I read Baby Proof by Emily Giffin and Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly this month. You would love both (especially Lilac Girls)!!

  • Taylor April 30, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Hi Shay! Suits starts out really good, but then I lost interest after the first couple of seasons. :/
    Have you watched Imposters? It is a Bravo show but the first season is on Netflix. I enjoyed binging it!

  • Carrie B Sandersfeld April 30, 2018 at 8:35 am

    By far my favorite blog post each month! I got back into reading last year and this post is why! I count down the days until the next one and then read and reread the post and comments for a week! Shay, I also blame you for the 103 unread books on my shelf 😉

  • Chelsea April 30, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I am binging suits right now and it’s great! I also just started Bosch on Amazon TV… WOW!!!! Might be my new favorite show!!!!

  • Robyn April 30, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Suits is a great binge watch! The language can be rough, so if you can get around that you’ll be fine.

  • Fiona MacDonald April 30, 2018 at 8:38 am

    This makes me sooo happy, I just finished Small Admissions and was ready for something more!! I love your book reviews so keep them coming! 🙂

  • Alexa G April 30, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I love Sophie Kinsella books but I’m having such a hard time getting through Suprise Me. I started it probably a month ago and just cannot keep going. I was excited to see that it was on your list this month to see what you thought about it too and I’m happy it’s not just me who didn’t love it.

  • GiGi Turner April 30, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I just finished Still Me by JoJo Moyes and loved it!- it just might be my favorite of the series! I started the series based on your recommendation, and have read all of them this year. I think this book wrapped up the series well and left us with a Louisa, more like Will knew she could be. I can’t wait to read the new Nancy Thayer book! Love your book review days!

  • Anne April 30, 2018 at 8:40 am

    I just read Fitness Junkie by Plum Sykes, definitely not great literature but it kept me entertained thru late night baby feeds! I would agree about Surprise Me, only ok. I finished it but honestly had to go back to the last few pages this morning to remember the plot because I couldn’t even recall the storyline!

  • LeeAnn April 30, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Book reviews are my absolute favorite posts— I literally get giddy! Haha

  • Shalimar April 30, 2018 at 9:05 am

    My favorite post of the month too! Yay, adding to my library app now. I recommend Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf. It’s plot is ripped from the headlines but written in the styles we like – easy chick lit, not heavy though the topics are because it involves foster care and DCFS cases that are all too true. I reviewed all the books I read in April on my blog today too! http://ishalc611.blogspot.com

  • Kari Maddox April 30, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I am reading I FOUND YOU by Lisa Jewell right now. Fall from Grace by Danielle Steel & Still Me by Jojo Meyers this month

  • Allie Blackburn April 30, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Offspring on Netflix! So good.

  • Amy April 30, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Love your blog!! Have you read anything by Lisa Scottoline? Suspense and mystery, so good! Heather Gudenkauff is also a fabulous author, kind of like a Jodi Picoult style. Just finished “Then she was gone” by Lisa Jewel, such a good book, read it in a day! NIght Road by Kristin Hannah is one of my top reads ever.

    • Shalimar April 30, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      I just read Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf (5 stars) and saw that Lisa Scottoline named her one of her favorite new authors! I also listened to a funny side of Lisa Scottoline in her compilation of essays with her daughter called Best Friends, Occasional Enemies. I just blogged about these and more today in fact. It’s funny to hear her being funny because her mystery fictions have me in suspense and are so serious!

  • Rena April 30, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Crazy Rich Asians. Great fun summer read!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Yesssssss! The whole series is just FUN!

      • Julie May 1, 2018 at 11:24 am

        Crazy Rich Asians is going to be a movie in August-can’t wait!

  • Lisa Dunham April 30, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Just finished Every Note Played by Lisa Genova (Still Alice) and loved it. It’s about a concert pianist with ALS, not a super happy book but it’s sooo good. Lisa is a former neuroscientist turned novelist. Each book centers around a neurological disorder, described in a non-medical way. There is always family drama and intricate relationships. She is brilliant.

  • Kara April 30, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Everyone needs a little Harvey Specter (Suits) in their lives!! My husband and I are binge watching and it is SO good! 🙂 Everytime I watch I can’t help but wonder what the queen would think about Rachel (Meghan Markle’s character) haha

  • Kelly Nation April 30, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Just read Lie to Me and now I’m reading Before We Were Yours…at your recommendation and my mom’s and sister-in-law. It’s great so far but I know tissues will be needed. Love your book reviews! I read them with my library account open so I can add some of your suggestions instantly!

  • Christina April 30, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Flint Town on Netflix

  • Melinda April 30, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I’ve read and LOVED Jamie Ivey’s book. I’m looking forward to reading some of the others you recommend. As for shows, I’m currently binge watching Suits. Soooo good! You will love it!!

  • Andrea April 30, 2018 at 9:29 am

    You must read Castle of Water. Has a bit of everything- fear, love, loss, adventure, survival, and hope. Loved this one!!

  • Susan April 30, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Suits is great! I just saw Royal Pains is on Netflix…if you haven’t watched that series, I think you will love it. Set out in the Hamptons.

  • Erin April 30, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Have you read When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin? One of my favorites! And I love pretty much every Elin Hilderbrand book I’ve read too! 🙂

  • Kelly April 30, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I recently read Happiness by Heather Harpham. It is this month’s Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick. I could not put it down & recommend it highly! I second the commenters above who recommended An American Marriage & Little Fires Everywhere. Both wonderful reads. Lastly, I’d recommend Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – you will fall in love with Eleanor.

  • Kimberly Waller April 30, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Shay, Have you ever read Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler?

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick April 30, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I know which part had you gasping! When I read it, I remember my mouth dropping open unnaturally (and unattractively) wide and I was just frozen like that for a full 30 seconds trying to come to terms with that twist!! hahaha So glad you liked it!! That Inspired Chick

  • Niko Whitson April 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Suits is A MUST!!!!

  • Kerri April 30, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Suits is good I hear! I am almost done with Grace and Frankie! I LOVE IT. Have you watched that? I hope I can look as good as Jane Fonda!

  • Allena April 30, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I thought Surprise Me was okay – not nearly as bad as Wedding Night ha! That was Sophie Kinsella’s WORST hands down! I finished The Wife Between Us last week and thought it was great! I read 9 books this month and several were winners – ‘Nine Women, One Dress’ was about this season’s ‘it’ dress and stories of different women who wear it – it was light, cute, but with some meaning, several love stories, it was just wonderful. I also loved ‘Eleanor & Park’ which is a YA book but had some tough subjects covered (bullying, child/spouse abuse) – I just loved the main characters and their stories!

  • Jennifer April 30, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Book Review Day is my favorite! Jamie Ivey has several podcasts called If You Only Knew, too, with different women sharing about their lives. You should check it out!

  • DANIELLE K RIGG April 30, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I need to start devoting more Mommy Time so I can read, I miss it. I just find it so hard to do. There are always a million & one things to do. On another note, I know in the past you have posted…but I am in need of new jeans. Any go to that are your favorite & comfy.
    Thanks. Happy Monday!

  • Jenn April 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Just reserved The Wife Between Us from the library, and just put If You Only Knew in my Amazon cart! I binged Seven Seconds on Netflix this weekend. OH MY. I was exhausted and sad and wanting more when I finished it. Although it covers a lot of hot/emotional topics, I highly recommend.

  • Tina April 30, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Love your book reviews! Here’s my April roundup…

  • Liz Hentges April 30, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Oh my gosh, I love your book reviews so much! I loved The Wife Between Us. I read it this month too and finished it so fast because I could not put it down! I tried Surprise Me a couple of months ago and never finished it. I was so bored I couldn’t stand it. I am glad I am not the only one that didn’t like this novel. I usually love her books but this one was so disappointing! Ugh!

  • Jennifer April 30, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I was the same way with the Kinsella book. I feel like she threw in the Surprise Me part and it really didn’t even have anything to do with the story. It was just blah

  • Dana April 30, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I love Elin Hilderbrand too! I have read all of her books and just love them! I just finished the book The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe and I LOVED it!! I think you’d really like it too!! We seem to have very similar reading habits…books you review I’ve either read or have in my book closet to read or quickly go get based on your reviews!! Happy reading!! 😊📚

  • Liz Hentges April 30, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Also- I want to read Lilac Girls. That is on my list next. I’ve heard if you liked The Nightingale you will love this one. Can’t wait.

  • Tara Skrla April 30, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Suits is one of my all time favorites – I just got through binge watching every single episode and it does not disappoint! The first three seasons are the absolute best, the writing is so good and I love every single character (especially Harvey & Donna!). I just started watching Luther which is a British cop show that is pretty dark but so far, so good. Updating my Goodreads account with your recommendations so I know what to read next!

  • Carly M April 30, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Shay, I noticed on Good Reads that you haven’t read alot of Mary Kay Andrews books, I recommended you a few on there. She also has a great cook book- total beach/airplane reads!

  • Amanda April 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

    I usually love Sophie Kinsella so I was really disappointed by surprise me. I can’t imagine being freaked out by the idea of being with my husband for that long. Isn’t that the whole point of marriage?
    To say I slogged through just to finish it is an understatement. It was not an enjoyable read for me 🙁

  • Andrea Oster April 30, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    What kind of Kindle do you have? or would you recommend? I normally use my iPad but looking to get a Kindle 🙂


    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      I use a paperwhite! I love it!!

  • elizabeth April 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Suits! The first 6 seasons is also on Amazon Prime and each season has less than 20 episodes so you might be able to catch up by the upcoming royal wedding (;

    Also, random note: have you tried Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base? At Nordstrom’s last triple point, a sweet makeup artist recommended this to me as a pre-makeup moisturizer and as a primer! I believe it’s also price matched at 15% off right now!

  • Lana B April 30, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Anything by Joshilyn Jackson, but I definitely recommend starting with gods in Alabama or Between, GA. Those are a goodnight starting point, and excellent books!

  • Michelle April 30, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    I look forward every month tho your book reviews. I have found some new authors I just love from your reviews.
    I don’t know how you do it with all you have going on.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World April 30, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I’m reading Surprise Me right now and I feel the EXACT same way that you do about it! Such a disappointment as I usually love her books! I’m super excited because Emily Giffin has a new one coming out in June!!!!

  • Christine Smith April 30, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Yay for April book reviews! I get all of my book recommendations from you and Ashley Spivey! I’m currently reading The Light We Lost and it has been so good and hard to put down! Can I repost your book review from today and tag a friend on Facebook (my friend is not on Instagram) and still be able to participate in the giveaway?

  • Lauren Bledsoe April 30, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I just finished It Ends With Us and I also gasped! I loved it! Have you heard of Handmaids Tale? It is SO. GOOD. It is very dark, but you cannot stop watching! I also really love Game of Thrones and I am contemplating starting it for a third time…….if you are looking for something a little more light, I love New Girl!

  • Lisa April 30, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Love your book reviews! Have you read anything by Charles Martin? I love all of his books, but his most recent ones especially. Water from the Heart & Long Way Gone are both favorites. He has a new one releasing any day now too called Send Down the Rain. Also, The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers is very good.

  • Savannah April 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    This month I read The Alice Network by Kate Quinn and Hidden Secrets by Carolyn Brown! Both great reads!!

  • Valerie April 30, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    I was really disappointed in Surprise Me too; I feel like you would really like The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews…a cute little beach read! The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan is very suspenseful, and The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs is very raw, emotional, and one everyone should take the time to read.

  • BeckyM April 30, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I really enjoyed Francine Rivers’ new book The Masterpiece! I’m guessing you’ve read her book Redeeming Love (I feel like most Christian women who like to read have read it :)), but if you haven’t, that’s a must read!

  • Olivia April 30, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I was disappointed by Surprise Me too! All of her other books were so good…but I agree, this one was so blah. I had to re-read the shopaholic series to get my fix 😉

  • Lauren Priddle April 30, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I just finished reading “The Masterpiece” by Francine Rivers. So good!

  • Ashlee April 30, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I love your book reviews! I’m a new mom, so I’m thrilled to have some recommendations of good books to read while on maternity leave! As far as tv shows go… one of my all time favorites is Hart of Dixie on Netflix. It’s an oldie but a goodie! My husband and I also love crime/detective shows, and some of our favorites are Longmire, Hawaii 5-0, Blind Spot, and Blue Bloods!

  • Kathy April 30, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I just heard the Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian is a really good & suspenseful book. Going to order it today. Since you like traveling so much… you might like this one.

  • Michelle April 30, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I am loving wathing Siet and Sura on Netflix. It is a Russian love story with sub-titles. The characters are great!!!

  • Sarah April 30, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Since you have been on an Alaska cruise. You need to read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I live in Anchorage, AK. and could not put the book down. My life is filled with modern conveniences and nothing like the main characters but the author really captured the beauty and spirit of Alaska. It is the Last Frontier and Home.

  • Christina April 30, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I just finished Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney and it was the best thriller I’ve read so far this year. There were so many twists and turns that I stayed up way too late to finish it! A MUST read!

  • Andi Linville April 30, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    This has nothing to do w today’s posts, BUT SHAY! Did you see that Hallmark is workin on 34 new holidays movies for this season?! 😱🙌 here’s the link: https://www.hmcmagazine.com/hallmark-christmas-movies/

    • Mix and Match Mama May 1, 2018 at 6:47 am

      No way?!?! Those are my FAVE!!!

  • Chelsey April 30, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    I know you love English settings, so definitely add My Oxford Year to your list! I read it in one day – needed to know how it was going to end! Really sweet story that had a lot of depth, too

  • Alana April 30, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Binge watch: suits, riverdale, outlander, new girl.
    You can never go wrong re-binge watching Downton Abbey!!

  • Mackenzie April 30, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    You should try a Kate Morton book! They usually jump between WW1 time and present with a mystery connecting the two timelines, and there’s always a great romance in there too. All her books are great but The Lake House is my favorite.

    • Susanne May 2, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      I love Kate Morton too! My favorite is The Secret Keeper.

  • Cheryl April 30, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I recommend Dr. Foster on Netflix. There are 2 seasons with 5 episodes each. I find myself talking to the screen saying, “Don’t do it!” Or “Leave! Now!” It’s a quick, suspenseful binge.

  • amanda April 30, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Suits is such a great show! Yes there is some language. It will make you love Megan Markle more, and look forward to the wedding coming up. I think you should still give Game of Thrones a try. The first few seasons there is a lot of nudity and language. You just have to know that going in, but like last few seasons it’s all about the throne. It’s one of my all time favorites. and I know not everyone can get into it. I just started Doctor Foster on Netflix-really good!
    I finished A Nantucket Wedding last night. It was so good. Poppy got on my nerves at first but that settled out, and Jane made some choices I didn’t agree with. It was the best beach read though. Masterpiece by Francine Rivers is my favorite so far for 2018.

  • Angela Ellingson May 1, 2018 at 1:31 am

    I loved Suits!! I think you would too!

  • Courtney May 1, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I’m not a reader AT ALL (like I can’t say I’ve actually read a book since college) but I just picked up “When we were on fire” by Addie Zierman. It’s a memoir about growing up evangelical in the 90’s and after reading one a few chapters, I’ve already had several “head-nodding” moments as I relate to her stories. I thought you may be able to relate too. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you read it!

  • Linda E May 1, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    So glad to see that I am not the only one who found Surprise Me to be a BIG disappointment. Almost sorry I wasted the time to finish it! I did read Every Note Played by Lisa Genova and Happiness by Heather Harpham. (The latter was one of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Clup picks.) Bot were really good but have some tissues handy!

  • Paula May 1, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    My suggestion is Sarah’s Key by
    Tatiana de Rosnay.
    Do you love Kingsbury. I think you said so. The production of The Baxters has started which makes me see o excited.
    I love this giveaway. More than products and such….😁

  • Carrie May 1, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I love your book reviews! I just finished My Oxford Year. It was great, and I really think you’d like it. It has a Me Before You vibe.

  • Alicia May 1, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I’m always reading books you have already read, but now I’m binge watching Friday Night Lights on Amazon Prime. Love it!

    • Mix and Match Mama May 2, 2018 at 5:27 am

      That is such a good one!!

  • Allyson May 2, 2018 at 6:55 am

    I read the Wife Between Us in 2 days- and audibly gasped….twice. I have recommended the book to everyone- it was so good and unexpected. I will be honest- going back to re-read it now to see the clues that I missed haha

  • Amy Heinl May 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

    HI Shay…always love your book review posts….I know you are a big Hallmark Channel Fan so I wasn’t sure if you watched The Beach House this past weekend. It is based on the book by the same name by my most favorite author, Mary Alice Monroe. This month I read a sequel to The Beach House that was released hardback last year and just came out in paperback. It’s called Beach House for Rent. It was sooo good…..better even than the original which I didn’t think possible. I am hoping Hallmark will do it as well as a movie. The third in the series called Beach House Reunion is coming out in May and I am on preorder for that. All of her books are so good (and to be honest her characters just spring to life and Elin Hildebrand lists her as one of her most favorite authors so I hope you will check her out). She also did a 5 book series of the last couple of years called the Low Country Summer Series. Hands down best books I ever read. I read the first two cover to cover all in one day because I could not put them down. Hope you will take a look at some of hers

  • Molly K May 3, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    A good friend of mine kept telling me to read “The Sound of Gravel.” A story about polygamy, told from a daughters perspective. Almost couldn’t believe what I was reading!!!! In fact, my husband doesn’t even need to read it because he heard about it all. the. time.
    Your monthly posts are super fun and how I get most of my books!!! non-fiction is my fave!

  • Kara Ponder May 7, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Just finished Overseas by Beatriz Williams – loved it just as much as I loved A Hundred Summers

  • Morgan Eckert May 11, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I had to come comment on here because I just finished After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I know you LOVED One True Loves by her and read Forever, Interrupted and thought it was just okay but I think you should try After I Do! I really really enjoyed it (not as much as One True Loves but close enough!) and I think you would too 🙂