January 2019 Book Review

Girls, I have been waiting on this post for 6 long weeks!

It’s my JANUARY 2019 BOOK REVIEW!!!!!

So, if you’re new around here, let me explain.  Every month, I read some books and discuss them here.  The best part about these reviews?  The comment section at the end!  That is where everyone else chimes in and shares what books they’re reading now and what I should read next.  If you are new, you should totally go and read THIS POST here…

, January 2019 Book Review

this is where I reviewed all 61 books I read in 2018 plus named my TOP THREE (and my bonus TOP TWO!).  There is a complete list of books in that post of every book I read last year.

If you’re a regular around here, thank you.  I love you and I’m so excited to do life with you each day.  This year, I will be adding in books that both Kensington and Smith read during the month, so that if you have elementary kiddos at home, maybe you can get an idea or two for them as well.

One last thing before we get to the SIX books I’ve read over the last month or so…thank you so much for your prayers, thoughts, sweet emails, messages and comments yesterday.  We’re home today and Ashby is resting.  Last night was really rough, but we’re hopeful that this morning, things will improve.  We were laughing last night because she was throwing up and so I put a wet cloth on her head and she was like, “What are you doing?  There’s nothing wrong with my brain!”.  Hahahaha!  That kid!  I am so thankful for all of your love, encouragement and support.  It was a long day, but she’s doing okay this morning.  I really cannot thank you enough. xo

Okay, the last time we met to chat about books, we ended on a high.  The last two books I read in 2018 were two of the best I’ve ever read.

Yes, I said EVER.

We ended with Swear on This Life and Where the Crawdads Sing, so the book that came next had a very tough act to follow.

This month,  I really liked the first book, loved two more, thought one was okay and hated two books.

Hated?

I don’t think I’ve ever used that word to describe a book before?

Ever.

Well, I am today.

, January 2019 Book Review

Here we go…

, January 2019 Book Review

I kicked off 2019 with the #1 book you guys recommended to me last month…One Day in December by Josie Silver…and I really liked it!!

Okay, I was a little nervous about reading this novel and then reviewing it in January because I thought the title would mean the book was Christmas-y (and who wants to read a Christmas book in January?!), but IT’S NOT AT ALL!!  This is a fictional tale about a girl who, one day in December, looks out the window of a bus and makes eye contact with someone who she immediately feels drawn to.   That’s how it begins…and then, it follows her and this guy over the next ten years.  It’s really adorable reading!  This book was very Bridget Jones’ diary for me.  Not only is it set in London too, but the main character is quirky, flawed, funny and lovable.  If you’re looking for a great chick-lit book to read in February, this is the one.  The only thing I would say is that the book takes place over ten years, but it needed one more chapter.  I felt, in the end, that it was cut short by just a hair.  You know me, I like an ending that really is wrapped up nice and tidy and this one needed just a few more sentences in my opinion.

, January 2019 Book Review

The second book I read this month was a recommendation from my brother.  Both Andrew and I read The Spy and The Traitor by Ben Macintyre in January and LOVED IT.  Okay, this is a true story about a Russian KGB spy who turns on them and starts working for Great Britain.  Friends, at one point in the book, I realized that I was shaking.  I was physically shaking because of the suspense in this book.  My heart rate was elevated, and my adrenaline was pumping.  I have never in my life had such a strong reaction to a book before.  I do not want to give anything away, but this book will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.  Add to that, the fact that it’s a true story and your mind will be blown.

This book is really wordy and gives a lot of information, so I had to re-read paragraphs often to make sure I was catching every detail, but it was all worth it.  This is one of those books I will never forget.  Absolutely brilliant!

, January 2019 Book Review

I love Colleen Hoover books! In fact, several of hers are considered some of my absolute favorites including It Ends With Us which was my second favorite book of 2016.  So, I was really excited to read her new one, Verity on our trip to Park City.

I hated it.

Honest to goodness, I really and truly think it’s the worst book I’ve ever read.

Part of me thought I should just not review it and spare everyone the negative review, but the book made me so mad, and I love Colleen Hoover’s other stuff so much, that I feel the need to tell you that I did not enjoy this book at all.

Who else has read this one?  Have I lost my mind?  I could have stopped reading it, but I was determined to finish because I thought it would have at least one redeeming factor, but nope.  I read the last page and it was just as bad as the other ones.

Here is my beef with this novel and then you can tell me if I’m totally wrong and you loved it.  First, I’m totally okay with strong language and sexual scenes in books.  I read them, review them and always tell you when they’re rated R, but that doesn’t turn me off from a book.  Some of my faves, in fact, are rated R.  That being said, this book was just gratuitous with unnecessary sex scenes and foul language.  I mean…there was just so much and it was all, in my opinion, completely irrelevant to the plot.  One or two, I can ignore, but page after page after page of it (with no value to the actual plot) is just not my kind of book.  So when you add that to the fact that the book was just DISTURBING in every sense of the word, I was so turned off.  Disturbing.  Not “Gone Girl” disturbing, like just disturbing disturbing.  I found nothing to like about the main character, didn’t like the sub-characters, thought the ending was just as bad as the beginning and WAS NOT shocked at all to read the acknowledgements at the end where she says her normal publishing house didn’t want to be a part of this project, so she published it with someone else.  I feel like that speaks volumes right there.

Hahahaha!  Okay, I’m done.

I seriously was like “what did I just read??????!!!!” when it was over.  Did you like it?  Am I crazy?  I feel crazy right about now.

It’s going to be a while before I pick up another Colleen Hoover book.

, January 2019 Book Review

Match Making For Beginners had me at the cover…but kind of lost me after that.

Now, perhaps, I was still cranky coming off the last book, but I just thought this one was okay.  This is chick-lit and it’s been hyped everywhere, but I just didn’t get the appeal.  I didn’t love the main character, I didn’t understand her selfishness with many of the things she did, and I thought it was really predictable in the end.

Whoa.

I sound mean today.

There were some good parts and some characters that I thought really lent themselves to the story, but as a whole, I didn’t love it.

Boo.

The last two books I read are by two of my favorite authors…

, January 2019 Book Review

Sally Hepworth, I just love you.

Friends, I am suuuuuuper lucky and got an advanced copy of her newest novel, The Mother-in-Law and right now, you all should pre-order it.

Like right now.

I’ll wait.

Done? You pre-ordered it, right?  Because the day it’s released, you want it on your porch so you can dig in.

I have always loved all of Hepworth’s novels.  They’re original, they’re not predicable, they cover heavy subjects, but in a way that makes them relatable.  I’m always just captured by her books and cannot put them down.  This new one right here had me at the dedication.  Seriously, I opened the book, read her personal dedication, laughed out loud and continued to love it until the very end.  This is about a family and the opening scene is them finding out that their mother/mother-in-law has died.  From there, a delicious story unfolds.  I thought I had the plot all figured out…but I was wrong.  There are twists and turns and with each one, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.  I loved this book.  Really and truly, loved it!  It’s about family, traditions, death, expectations, marriage, the fragility of life and maybe…murder.  It’s good, y’all.  Good.

, January 2019 Book Review

Here’s the thing…I owe Liane Moriarty BIG TIME because she was one of the authors that really got me reading again a few years ago. You guys told me to read her books and then once I did, I couldn’t stop!  I read every single book she published (she’s the author who wrote Big Little Lies) and was so bummed when I ran out.  Then last year, she published a new one and I couldn’t wait to read it…and it disappointed me.  And then this year, she just came out with Nine Perfect Strangers, and friends, I hated it.  Gosh!  There’s that word again!  I know that I should probably use a softer word when describing a book, but oh my gosh, I just wanted it to end.  At one point, I thought “this book is going absolutely nowhere and has no plot whatsoever”, so I swiped up on my Kindle to see how far into it I was and it said 34%!  Eeeks! I kind of like a book to have some sort of point by the time I’m 34% into it!  I just didn’t like it.  It’s a fictional story about a group of 9 people at a wellness center of sorts all working out different issues, but really, I was bored.  Hahaha!  (Even as I’m reading my own words, I’m thinking how cranky I sound!)  Who else read it?  What did you think?  Again, I think it’s going to be a long time before I buy another Moriarty book.  I’ve been too disappointed by the last two, so I should probably move on to another author.  Urg.  Thoughts?  Opinions?

Whew!  So, those are the six books that I read.  I am just about done with my seventh book, but I’m saving it for my February review.  It’s a good one, friends!  Thank goodness…I needed a good one 🙂 .

Okay, this year, I asked Kensington and Smith if they wanted to contribute to my book reviews and they said yes.  Smith said that for his first month’s contribution, all of your kids should read anything by…

, January 2019 Book Review

Dav Pilkey.  I was like, “Don’t you want to have me say anything else???”, and he was like, “No.”.  So, we’re highly recommending everything by Dav Pilkey this month 🙂 .

Kensington read two books this month and liked them both.  First, she read…

, January 2019 Book Review

Wish!  She loved this novel!  I love it when she reads a book and then wants to discuss it after each chapter.  It’s fictional, it’s about a girl, there is a little mystery, some family drama and a dog.  It’s everything my ten year old needs in a book.  After this one, she read a classic…

, January 2019 Book Review

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.  Friends!!!!  I must have read this book a dozen times growing up!  I am so happy that she’s starting to read more Judy Blume!  She loved this one, and it brought me back talking about it with her.  I will say that the content of this book is a little more mature (they discuss boys, periods, bras and such), but it just makes me so happy that she liked it. I loved it too.

So, that officially wraps up my January Book Review.

Anyone else emotionally exhausted?

I am.

I’m going to need a nap to recover from this one. Hahaha!

Okay, what did you read this month?  What should I read next?  Give me #allthethoughts in the comment section, please!!!  I LOVE BOOK REVIEW DAY!  Couple that with a Friday and I’m pretty sure this is a perfect post 🙂 .  Love you guys! xo

, January 2019 Book Review
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog February 1, 2019 at 4:49 am

    So glad to hear you enjoyed One Day in December! I just bought it myself and can’t wait to get started on it now! 😀

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • Ashley February 2, 2019 at 7:27 pm

      If you haven’t read The city baker’s guide to country living by Louise Miller you should! It is super cute in a Hallmark movie but slightly more suspenseful and racy way. Loved it and will be reading her other book ASAP!

  • Fay Werner February 1, 2019 at 4:59 am

    I hated Nine Perfect Strangers too. I thought I was the only one!

    • April February 1, 2019 at 9:39 am

      I couldn’t even get through the first couple of chapters and was bored and not into the characters. I never finished it.

      • Emily February 1, 2019 at 7:59 pm

        I couldn’t get into Nine Perfect Strangers either. I couldn’t bring myself to read it and that’s rare once I start a book.

    • Sheri February 2, 2019 at 12:10 am

      Everyone I know hated Nine Percy Strangers! I guess I can put a like through that on my tbr.

  • Kelly Sites February 1, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Okay- YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. I read Verity this month, too. I thought the exact thing. First, the out of control language and sex (I’m like you, I can take them in a book, but this was stupid)!!!!!!!!!! I finished it, only because I wanted to know what in the world was going on in the plot. It was just a weird book. I LOVED Where the Crawdads Sing and Swear on this Life (so much!). I’m excited to start up next The Lost Girls of Paris (read about it!) (it just came out) Pam Jenof never lets me down. And I will for sure read the Sally Hepworth book, because she never lets me down either.

  • Sarah L. February 1, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Have you read These Is My Words by Nancy Turner? I thought it was excellent!

    • Denise February 1, 2019 at 6:02 am

      I second this! Loved this book!

    • Amanda February 1, 2019 at 6:25 am

      One of my all time favorite books!!

      • Kelly L Feaster February 1, 2019 at 8:12 am

        I recommended These Is My Words previously too! It was such a good read!

    • Debbie February 1, 2019 at 8:48 am

      These is My Words is excellent. It’s one of my favorite books. I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing. It was beautifully written. I’m still so impacted by it that I’m having a hard time moving on to my next book.

      Nine Perfect Strangers was very boring in the beginning. I am usually a quick reader and it took me quite a long time to get into the book. I will definitely say it took some weird turns.

      Thanks for all the book reviews.

  • Megan February 1, 2019 at 5:11 am

    I have to agree with you on Nine Perfect Strangers. It had potential to either get me attached to the characters or take a dark turn and neither was really executed that well. The Spy and the Traitor looks fantastic – I’m adding it to my list. My kids are big Pilkey fans, too. Funny you mentioned Wish. My oldest just packed it away after reading the first few chapters because it was too sad for her- she said maybe she will try it again later. She’s a big Judy Blume fan and it’s so fun to see her reading the same books I loved as a child. Judy Blume and The Babysitters Club take me right back to fourth grade 🙂

    • Megan February 1, 2019 at 5:22 am

      Ps- have you read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee? I just started it and love it so far. Check it out.

      • Cathy February 1, 2019 at 11:55 am

        Megan, I totally agree. Pachinko is the best book I have read in a long time! Read it – you will love it 🙂

  • Narci February 1, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Your Book reviews are the best!! Adding the ones you loved to my list to read right now!

  • Jamie February 1, 2019 at 5:18 am

    i have, what i think, is an interesting question. as much as you’ve loved colleen hoover as an author, does it change your opinion of her as an author because her publishing house didn’t want to be a part of the project and then she used a different publishing house and the book was horrible? i wonder what she loved so much about this book, what would make her turn to a different publisher, what her thought process was. did you wonder these things too?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 1, 2019 at 5:40 am

      Yes, it does. Her acknowledgements at the end really opened my eyes. The fact that they wouldn’t publish it, yet she felt so compelled to have it published speaks volumes. I do love, love, love many of her books, but I guess, in my opinion, she needs her editor at her old publishing house to guide her.

      • Melissa February 1, 2019 at 11:49 am

        Do you want to write a novel? Rachel Hollis (one of your IG followers)mentioned that she had to self-publish her first few books because she couldn’t get the perfect publisher in the beginning and that many publishers wanted her to add graphic language.

      • Jennibell February 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

        I, too, was BROKEN when I read “It Ends With Us” and loved November9 so, so much and enjoyed All Your Perfects. I was “eh” on Without Merit, Finding Cinderella, and Maybe Someday. She can be really good or just bad. I’ll not waste my time with Verity then. LM started so strong and promising….I wonder if the pressure of advances, timelines, and expectations has gotten to her? I read a very obscure book this month called “Cold Sassy Tree” by Olive Ann Burns. It’s just a story, historical fiction, taking place in the early 1900’s. Just a nice step back from anything heavy….

        • Talitha February 2, 2019 at 9:02 am

          “Cold Sassy Tree” is one of my all time favorite books and one all the book clubs were loving 30+ years ago. My father and grandfather’s family are from Georgia so the sentimentality of similar family history appealed to me. The southern dialect of that area is spot on and something you never hear anymore. Think “To Kill a Mockingbird” style of writing. Sweet story of the times and no gratuitous sex or foul language.

          • Debra February 3, 2019 at 9:42 am

            Oh, my gosh. I LOVE “Cold Sassy Tree”…I read it 20 plus years ago and it is still in my top 5 favorite books ever…and I read a lot of books. I tell people about her all the time, but I rarely see this book mentioned in ‘good books’ on blogs. Thank you for bringing her up. I believe she died while in the process of writing her second book and a friend…maybe neighbor?…finished it for her. I will have to look that up.

  • Meg February 1, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Ugh, I HATED Verity, too! And it is being praised all over the Facebook/Instagram world! I don’t get it, there are so, so many other books to read that are so much better. I hope Colleen Hoover sticks with what works for her next book. The suspense thing didn’t work out for her.

  • Kate February 1, 2019 at 5:26 am

    UGH to Verity too! I didn’t even read the description, it was free with my Kindle Unlimited, and since it was by Colleen Hoover, I thought I couldn’t go wrong. How very very wrong I was. HORRIBLE. DISGUSTING! I 100% agree with you!

  • Renee February 1, 2019 at 5:28 am

    I love your book reviews and always look forward to them. I read Nine Perfect Strangers in December and I really liked it. I didn’t globe like most of their other books, but I did enjoy it.

  • Kimberly February 1, 2019 at 5:28 am

    Nine Perfect Strangers was so BLAH. Very dissapointing!

  • Abigail February 1, 2019 at 5:30 am

    I always look forward to these! I had the 2 you hated on hold at my library- not anymore! #peace I just read The Accidental Beauty Queen & it was darling! It is kind of a twist of Miss Congeniality & The Devil Wears Prada…identical twins & one is a pageant girl- the other hates them. The first twin has an allergic reaction the night before & can’t be in the pageant & the other twin steps in! Lots of different themes/things to think about which i loved! Happy weekend!

    • Julie February 1, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      I just read this too, and I think you would like it, Shay.

  • Karen February 1, 2019 at 5:31 am

    I just finished The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton. It’s fantastic!

    • Erin February 21, 2019 at 9:22 am

      I have enjoyed all of Kate Morton’s books. And, I frequently sire her as my favorite author. That said, I did not think the current one was quite as good as the others. I still enjoyed though.

  • Kristen LeVangie February 1, 2019 at 5:35 am

    Nine perfect strangers was the worst!!!!

    • Kim K. February 3, 2019 at 5:47 pm

      Agree!

  • Eileen February 1, 2019 at 5:39 am

    Your review is spot on. I loved One Day in December and hated Nine Perfect Strangers. Totally agree with you – loved Liane Moriarty’s books and eagerly anticipated her last 2 and hated them both. Boo. So . . . Verity. I liked it. It was totally messed up, so I guess I liked it in a thriller, messed up kind of way? But I agree 100% – I don’t mind reading rated R books, but I think her books (especially this one) could have 1/2 the sex in it and still be just as good. It’s just too much and with no real purpose. I can’t wait for The Mother-In-Law. Love Sally Hepworth! I just finished The Light Over London (historical fiction) and really liked it.

  • Laurie Birt February 1, 2019 at 5:43 am

    To go with The Spy and the Traitor, have you read American Radical? Talk about relevant and suspenseful!

  • Katie February 1, 2019 at 5:44 am

    I’m going to speak to the kids’ books as a children’s librarian. I loved Wish, LOVED it! She might like A Snicker of Magic next. Also, they are making an off broadway of Dog Man. That might be fun on a future trip!

  • Keri Brown February 1, 2019 at 5:45 am

    Haven’t read any of these! Love your reviews. I finished Everybody Always by Bob Goff, Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews and am currently reading The House Girl by Tara Conklin.

  • Sarah February 1, 2019 at 5:45 am

    I’m so glad you didn’t say you hated the Sally’s Hepworth book! She’s my favorite and I’ve been waiting for her to release a new book. I am normally a library girl, but I’m preordering because you said so! Thanks!!

  • Emily February 1, 2019 at 5:45 am

    I read nine perfect strangers and I kept reading as I wanted to know what happened but I agree, it wasn’t great. One day in December was fun but agree it needed more. I just read a cute, short chick lit book, Love and Other Words, and not sure why but I couldn’t put it down. It has some rated R stuff but nothing like that author’s other books ha. I also just read The Darlings about a NYC hedge fund family and enjoyed it too. I think back in Dec Elin Hilderbrand posted a list of her favorite books from 2018 and I’ve been reading them as I love her, but whatever you do, do NOT read “Mrs.” It was flat out horrible and really shocks me she thought it was so good.

  • Lindsey Sadler February 1, 2019 at 5:47 am

    When We Were Young by Karen Kingsbury was really good and so relevant to the times we live in. I had not read a book from her in a long time and it was so so good. Also found another book called Then There Was You by Kara Issac. It was super cute. The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon was great too. Sometimes a little rated R.

    • Taylor February 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Yes I loved The Neighbors!! That was going to be the book I recommended this month.

    • L February 1, 2019 at 8:16 am

      I love Karen Kingsbury books! She also has a kids chapter book coming out called the Best Family Ever. Excited for my kids to try it out!
      I was able to read an early ebook copy of The Mother-in-Law. Wow! It was my first Sally Hepworth book and I loved it so much! Can’t wait to read more if they are all this good.

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams February 1, 2019 at 5:51 am

    I’m always happy for book review day and even happier when you review the bad ones so I don’t waste my time! Lol sounds like Veracity isn’t worth it! Have you read Little Fires Everywhere? It’s about a dysfunctional family and how they deal with two strangers coming into their lives as tenants. That was one of my favorites from last year!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Paige Haring February 1, 2019 at 5:51 am

    Love that your kids are getting involved! I need boy book recommendations from Smith!!

    • Carly February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Not sure how old your boy is, but my 9 year old loves Mac Barnett’s Terrible Twos and Brixton Brothers, I Survived, Magic Treehouse, and Nick and Tesla.

      He also is a pretty high level reader so if yours is too, he loves: HP (I made him stop at 4 because it gets pretty dark,) Percy Jackson series, and Mysterious Benedict Society!

      • Meredith February 2, 2019 at 8:35 am

        Sounds like our 9 year olds are similar!! He read HP but then I made him stop after 3 for same reasons, plus it would make him too sad that a good character dies in book 4. He just read all the Percy Jackson series and now he’s reading other Rick Riordan books. We haven’t read Mysterious Benedict Society so I’ll have to check that one out, plus a couple others you mentioned. Another book series that is good for boys, especially those who love sports, is the Matt Christopher series.

    • Kelly February 1, 2019 at 11:29 pm

      My son loved all of the Calvin and Hobbs books at this age.

  • Seunghye Huggins February 1, 2019 at 5:56 am

    I am readying Nine Perfect Strangers right now and can it start any slower. I am not getting into this book at all. But I heard so many say that they can’t put it down. I am going to do my best to finish it.

  • Laura February 1, 2019 at 5:56 am

    Ok I’m so glad I’m not alone-I’m reading 9 Perfect Strangers and ready to can it. I’m so bored! Can you just tell me what happened? 😉

  • Jen Gehres February 1, 2019 at 5:58 am

    Oh my gosh… I hated Verity too. What a messed up book!! I was NOT HAPPY when I finished. I kind of wanted the throw something… at Colleen Hoover.

  • Kelly Dumont February 1, 2019 at 6:01 am

    Thank you for the book review just ordered dogman 1-3 for my 9 year old!!

  • Kristen Walters February 1, 2019 at 6:01 am

    Maybe it was the month for bad reads or maybe I’m just in a funk with reading, I had 2 books that I quit reading😮 I HATE giving up on books but when it gets to the point that I dread reading and find myself doing anything but reading it’s time to move on. Maybe it was just me🤷🏼‍♀️ I attempted: A spoil of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler and The Garden Party by Grace Dane Mazur, found both just blah. So hoping I can find some good books to read. Part of the problem is I’m at the mercy of the library and I’m on a wait list for several books there.
    I LOVE the idea of including the kids in the book review- I’m always looking for new books for my kiddos to read and or for me to read to them☺️

  • Kristen Thompson February 1, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Oh my gosh I love Book review day! I finished a book on Tuesday and I’ve been waiting until today to buy another one because I love hearing what you liked!! I loved your recommendations last month! I agree with Nine Perfect Strangers-I was extremely disappointed! My mom and I always take turns with books and I told her to not even bother with that one! I can’t wait to read One Day In December-I saw it advertised but I wasn’t sure about the description but hearing your review, I’m all in! Have you read anything by Sarah Jio? I read one of her books after a recommendation from my moms best friend (our own mini book club haha) and I got hooked! I’ve read all of her books! They are sort of a combination of Kristin Hannah and Colleen Hoover-I started with Always which was amazing and I also loved The Bungalow which took place during World War II and jumped back and forth between the past and present which I love in a book!! I also read The Lights Over London last month which was also about WWII and very well written!! Thanks for the amazing reviews!

    • Susanne February 1, 2019 at 7:22 am

      I love Sarah Jio! The bungalow was one of my favorite books. I also loved Goodnight June! Maybe I need to just go back and read them all again. 😊

      • Kristen Thompson February 1, 2019 at 11:02 am

        Goodnight June was sooo good!!

    • Amanda February 1, 2019 at 9:20 am

      Sarah Jio is my favorite!!!!

    • Laure February 1, 2019 at 11:00 am

      Oh my gosh…yes!!! Sarah Jio books are so good!! I have loved all of the ones I’ve read but BlackBerry winter and always stand out to me!!

  • Robin Firestone February 1, 2019 at 6:07 am

    I also was not a big fan of Nine Perfect Strangers – I kept reading thinking it would get better…but it didn’t!

  • Erika Slaughter February 1, 2019 at 6:07 am

    I loved One Day in December too!! To be honest, I’m about to start Oh Crap-Potty Training but I’d prefer you read it first and then just send me the highlights.

    • Nicole February 1, 2019 at 7:14 am

      Hahahahaha!

    • Ryan February 1, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      I read Oh Crap Potty Training and followed it to a TEE and it worked like a charm!!! I did day and nighttime training at the same time (exactly as she says and it was great!) My daughter was 29 months when we started on May 20th and May 19th was her last diaper ever! I feel like this was my best parenting win thus far but really it was all this book. Good luck!

  • Lori February 1, 2019 at 6:08 am

    I just finished The Tatooist of Auschwitz and loved it!

    • Jodi Guntle February 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm

      Ahh I just read that too! Hard to read but really good.

  • Denise Cain February 1, 2019 at 6:15 am

    I love that you added children’s books! I loved Judy Blume! I would definitely welcome more children’s lit reviews! My boys (9&12) love to listen to books while they are playing with legos and they’ll listen to the same books over and over!

  • Heather Henderson February 1, 2019 at 6:16 am

    I thought Nine Perfect Strangers started off okay then went down hill. Not my favorite. I’m finishing Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. It’s historical fiction about the concentration camps in WW II. It’s well written and a sad, fascinating read.

    • briana February 1, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Mentioned it in my comment below but I second Lilac Girls! One of the very best WWII books I’ve read.

      • Kelley Ross February 4, 2019 at 7:02 pm

        I love your book reviews! This is my first time commenting, so here it goes. I agree with this. Lilac Girls is great. I would also recommend Pecan Man and the Truth about Grace by Cassie Dandridge Selleck. They read like The Help meets To Kill a Mockingbird.

    • Drew February 2, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      I thought Lilac Girls was such a fantastic read, as well! It was very difficult to stomach at times, but was so eye opening. World War II historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.

  • Aparna February 1, 2019 at 6:17 am

    So glad to hear that you enjoyed One day in December…just bought my copy and can’t wait to read it! And i second Pachinko. It’s a fabulous book about a different culture, very well written.

  • Valerie February 1, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Loved Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews, Proven by Jennie Allen, and Becoming by Michelle Obama

  • Laura E Fredlund February 1, 2019 at 6:24 am

    I love for your book reviews. Seriously love them. The only novel I have to recommend is “Circe” by Madeline Miller. I LOVED it, I was so sad when it was over. She is a master storyteller. Very captivating. Look into it! 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Mallory February 1, 2019 at 6:27 am

    I love that Kensington read “Are You There God…”! That was my most favorite book growing up. I still love reading real life, relatable, funny books because of that book! I bought the Matchmaker book a few months ago, but haven’t started it yet. I’m sad that it was disappointing, but since you didn’t hate it, I’ll give it a try haha.

  • Maggie Kosciolek February 1, 2019 at 6:29 am

    I have the opposite opinion! I actually think Verity is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. So good I actually cancelled plans and read it at home in one day. It definitely was different but I thought the story was ingenious and as someone who reads 90% thrillers and mysteries, I loved that it actually surprised me and had an original storyline. I feel like all of her novels are pretty intense.

    I am also feeling all kinds of throwbacks at Are you there god, it’s me Margaret. That’s one of my favorites from growing up!!

  • Lisa B February 1, 2019 at 6:29 am

    I loved 9 Perfect Strangers! I don’t typically like suspenseful books but I couldn’t wait to figure this one out.

  • Nicki Spencer February 1, 2019 at 6:30 am

    I felt the exact same way about nine perfect strangers!! Blah!

  • Holly Allen February 1, 2019 at 6:35 am

    Oh my goodness! I just finished my last book and was waiting with baited breath for your book review to figure out what I’d read next! These sound awful! Here’s to hoping February is a better book month!

  • Nicole February 1, 2019 at 6:35 am

    I couldn’t get any further than the first few pages in Nine Perfect Strangers & One Day in December is not my kind of book as I’m not a huge chic lit fan
    I can’t wait for Sally Hepworths book!

  • Richelle Orman February 1, 2019 at 6:36 am

    Please read Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks. I loved a lot of his earlier books and just haven’t loved any lately until this one. It’s different than his others and I really enjoyed it!

    • Sarah February 1, 2019 at 8:59 am

      Every Breath has been my very favorite book of his!! I love Nicholas Sparks but agree about a few of his latest books. I was hesitant to read this one, but was so glad that I did!

    • WhittyWife February 1, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      Yes! I just finished Every Breath and really enjoyed it!

  • Maria Zandri February 1, 2019 at 6:39 am

    I just finished I’ll Be There For You: The Book About Friends. It’s so fun if you’re a fan of the show! Also, I’d love to hear you on an episode ofnAnne Bogle’s Podcast, What Should I Read Next. 😊

    • Lucie S February 1, 2019 at 8:22 am

      Yes! I was thinking the same thing! What Should I Read Next is the best! Would love to listen to you on this show!

    • Jess Murray February 2, 2019 at 7:40 am

      Love you and Anne and her podcast, What Should I Read Next!!! A perfect combination!!

  • Erica Canfield February 1, 2019 at 6:39 am

    I recently finished The Storyteller’s Secret. Absolutely loved it! I’ve been recommending it to everyone!

  • Kristine February 1, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Another great review! That’s good to know about Verity…too bad because I love Coleen Hoover. Your next book needs to be Its How It Always Is! So good! I couldn’t put it down. I’m currently reading A Gentleman in Moscow for my book club, and I just can’t get into it! Gah!

    • Carly February 1, 2019 at 3:26 pm

      Girl, STICK IT OUT! Gentleman took me a sweet forever, but oh my gosh, I LOVED the ending!! It was totally worth it!

  • Angela Ellingson February 1, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Love your honest reviews!! How sweet your big kids have a love of reading, too.

  • Haley February 1, 2019 at 6:45 am

    I loved Verity!!!! It was definetly messed up but that makes the ending even better because none knows if it was real or not?

  • Denae February 1, 2019 at 6:45 am

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is powerful and so good. Also I just finished, This is how it always is and it was eye opening. Loved the characters and family.

  • Ellie February 1, 2019 at 6:46 am

    I love your reviews, I used to read a ton more before kid, and after reading your reviews the last two years I’ve made time this past year to loose myself in more books again! (Plus my husband is the District Inventory Merchandiser for Half Price Books so it makes him extra happy I’m reading more again too!) I super love that your two bigs are adding to your reviews!

  • Amber Vance February 1, 2019 at 6:52 am

    I agree with everything you said about Nine Perfect Strangers! It was not good at all. Your book reviews are my absolute favorite! Thanks to you I read Where the Crawdads Sing. I would have never picked it up but it was AMAZING! Thanks for all you do!

  • Tamara R February 1, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Girl, I love your reviews! First, thank you for saving me from Nine Perfect Strangers! I started it and was like “Meh” and let my e-book loan end and now I won’t bother. Have you read the Kiss Quotient? It is really cute, reminds me of the Hating Game type of style, is a bit Rated-R but I loved it. H just finished Are you There God (I got it for her for Christmas) and she loved it! I just ordered her Blubber and Just as Long as We’re Together both by Judy Blume. And I’m going to text you a picture of J’s bookshelf – it will give you a good laugh! Happy Friday! Keeping Ashby in my prayers today xoxo

  • Jenny H February 1, 2019 at 6:55 am

    I am reading Nine Perfect Strangers right now, and I am thinking the same thing. I’m more than half way thru it. But what is the plot? What is the point? I’m only finishing it just to finish but man!!
    Praying for Ashby that today is better!

  • Kelly Fredrick February 1, 2019 at 6:55 am

    I also disliked Nine Perfect Strangers. Such a letdown as was the one before that.

  • Eryn February 1, 2019 at 6:56 am

    I don’t know what to think about Verity. On one hand, it was definitely a thriller and freaked me out a bit. On the other hand, I did want to put it down many times and not finish because I was seriously disturbed. Wasn’t a huge fan of the language and “extra” rated R stuff. I was happy at the end when the main character wasn’t as bad as I originally thought although they were all pretty awful.

  • Kayla February 1, 2019 at 6:56 am

    I hated Nine perfect Strangers too! I just wanted it to end!

  • Lyette February 1, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I usually don’t comment, but am a fifth grade teacher who has been in a quest to find new books for my students. They have loved The Front Desk by Kelly Lang and Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. Just thought I would share 😊

    • Pam February 1, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      My 6th grade non-bookloving daughter loves the Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass! She enjoyed Blubber by Judy Blume and I bought her Just as Long As We’re Together but she refuses to read it (probably only because I want her to!)

  • Jessie February 1, 2019 at 7:03 am

    I completely agree with everything you said about Nine Perfect Strangers! I have been waiting for your review to see if it was just me, or if this book really was so odd.
    On the bright side, I’m so glad you are including book reviews from your kids! I’m always looking for new suggestions for my son.

  • Bonnie February 1, 2019 at 7:05 am

    I loved Verity, I couldn’t put it down. Loved One Day in December too! Just finished The Wife Between Us and that was great too, lots of twists.

  • Shari February 1, 2019 at 7:10 am

    I listened to Nine Perfect Strangers in Audible, and I really liked it! Maybe it’s the yoga teacher in me, but I connected with the plot. There were definitely some odd turns and shifts, but I enjoyed the light that this book shed on mental health and would recommend it to others 🙂

  • Jennifer February 1, 2019 at 7:10 am

    I’ve also read all of Liane Moriarty’s books and didn’t mind Nine Perfect Strangers at first (I like reading books from different viewpoints), but towards the end it totally jumped the shark!! It didn’t make any sense and was so outlandish that it was unbelievable. At least it wrapped up nice and tidy, that’s the only good thing I can say about it.

    I can’t remember if you’ve read The Alice Network. It’s one of my favorites, and I’m not usually into war-themed novels.

    • Michelle February 1, 2019 at 8:23 am

      The Alice Network is greAt. She has a new book coming out soon the huntress

  • Melissa February 1, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Loved One Day in December and read Swear in this Life last month – thought it was fantastic!! Our nook club just finished Nine Perfect Strangers and none of us would recommend it to anyone-just awful! Bummer about Colleen Hoover because I love her books, I’m not going to read this one though.

  • Carrie February 1, 2019 at 7:11 am

    My son loved the Big Nate series (and they are fun graphic novels like Dav Pilkey’s)… Has Smith read those? Also, my daughter enjoyed the new Babysitter’s Club books (I remember reading the original series long ago!). Love that you are adding kids books to this monthly list!

  • Madison February 1, 2019 at 7:12 am

    okay here’s one for you— The Alice Network!! We just read it for our book club and it was SO good!! It’s based on a true story about female undercover spies in World War 1 and 2. It’s so so good!!

  • Whitney February 1, 2019 at 7:21 am

    I read A Day in December in two days this month! Such an easy and good read, but I completely agree that it needed an extra chapter to “finish the story”. It took me a bit to get into the language used but I think that added to me liking it.

  • Brianna February 1, 2019 at 7:22 am

    I know you’ve read a few Taylor Jenkins Reid books but have you read After I Do? I just finished it and loved it! I don’t know if it’s AS good as One True Loves, but it’s definitely a good one still!

  • Leigh February 1, 2019 at 7:24 am

    If you enjoy nonfiction read Bad Blood. The audiobook is read by the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story. It’s incredible!

  • Tanya February 1, 2019 at 7:26 am

    Thank you so much for all the great recommendations and also for being honest about the books you DON’T like! Verity has been getting so much hype, and it’s nice to see a contrasting review. It’s probably not the best book for me, based on your opinions. My favorite recent read was a middle-grade book called Refugee. I loved it especially in audio form. I’m coming back later to read all the comments – such great recommendations found there. I posted about my January books here on my Media Monday post: Tanya – The Other Side of the Road

  • Kelley Sawyer February 1, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Read anything by Charles Martin. I’ve read a bunch and LOVED them all. Characters that stick with you. Easy to read. Constantly interesting. Plot turns you won’t expect. The Mountian Between Us was my first read, absolutely loved it! (Heard the movie was extremely different). Also loved Long Way Home (prodigal son type story), Unwritten, Send Down the Rain, When Crickets Cry. Seriously. Read one. Any of them.

    • Nikki February 1, 2019 at 10:04 am

      YES! Please read Charles Martin – he is fabulous!

  • Melissa Terry February 1, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I didn’t like Nine Perfect Strangers either so you are not alone! I just finished My Oxford Year which I adored and am currently reading Night by Elie Wiesel along with our 14 year old who is reading it for school. Next up is either Small Admissions or Rush depending on which I can get first at the library. I always love your book suggestions-happy reading xo

  • Melissa Parsons February 1, 2019 at 7:36 am

    I’m so glad you recommended a new espionage book! Both my husband and I read “Red Notice” after you recommended it earlier last year and listened to it on Audible….then quickly recommended it to our friends and family afterwards..so good!

    I’m a Colleen Hoover fan; some I like more than others with”It Ends With Us being all time favorite”. I had so many thoughts while reading Verity this month. Yes, it was so disturbing and over the top with the sex stuff, but I could not put it down and my jaw dropped at the end. I’m stingy with my reviews on Goodreads and I actually gave this one 5 stars.

    Yay for getting the kids involved…my two are very similar ages to Smith and Kensington so I just ordered the Judy Blume boxset because of your review and can’t wait for her to enjoy them and us to talk about it!

  • Mari February 1, 2019 at 7:36 am

    I love reading your book reviews! I just finished An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green and it was AMAZING! I don’t usually go for sci-fi, but the concept of this one hooked me and I couldn’t put it down! I also just finished a thriller The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, and it was sooooo good! I didn’t see the ending coming, and it hit the “stay up all night thriller” spot!

  • Laura February 1, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Did you stop updating your goodreads account? I enjoyed following you there!

  • Vivian February 1, 2019 at 7:40 am

    I read Wish with my kiddos and they absolutely loved the book. Can’t wait to see what other recommendations your Kensington and Smith have through the year.

  • Deb February 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

    I totally agree about Nine Perfect Strangers. I thought the character development was really good, but the ridiculous plot just made me want to rush through it and get it over with. I just finished The Silent Patient, which has a lot of buzz right now. It started slow for me, but by the end I didn’t want to put it down.

  • ANDREA February 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Funny story. I accidentally read the beginning of Verity when I thought I was reading Girl, Wash Your Face. I had both on my Kindle and must have touched the wrong one. I read probably 20 pages and was SOOO confused, thought maybe that random guy that helped her after the accident was Dave. LOL!! After I figured it out I couldn’t get back into it.

    Also agree about Nine Perfect Strangers. Usually love Liane’s books too but this was a hard and slow start. I’m not sure I can get back into it either and I usually finish every book I start.

    • Dana February 1, 2019 at 8:13 am

      I am laughing out loud!!

  • Sara February 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Wow, I loved Verity! Yes, it’s disturbing. Yes, it’s graphic. But it was a total page turner for me. I liked the creepiness and trying to figure out what the heck was going on. But it wouldn’t be for everyone if you can’t get past the extremely R-ratedness of it.

  • Carly February 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

    I’ve been nervous to try Verity because of all you’ve said. I can’t get it at my Library and it sounds like it’s not worth paying for so I’m going to hold off ;). I agree on Matchmaking (just meh.)

    My busy, active 9 year old son LOVES Dav Pilkey and we saw him in Austin. I teared up when he told his story because he’s telling my boy’s story too! His books are not my humor, but THANK GOD for him getting our boys to love reading so!!

    I’ve been reading a lot of YA, but other ones I’ve liked recently are Watching You by Lisa Jewell, The Gown, Nine Women One Dress, The Life Lucy Knew and The Day the World Came to Town (not sure how I missed this entire event on 9/11.) I think you’d enjoy each one!!

  • Kim February 1, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Your book reviews have gotten me into reading again! I’ve decided this year I will read at least one book a month. I know it’s not much, but it’s a start. I read two actually in January. I read the Elizabeth Smart book you recommended and really liked it. Like couldn’t put it down and finished it in 24hrs. I also read Party Girl by Rachel Hollis. I needed something light after the other. I really liked it too!

  • Liliane Dunham February 1, 2019 at 7:47 am

    I could not finish Nine Perfect Strangers and just dropped it off at the library…It took me forever to get half way through and was so bored by the characters and there was no point to any of it…glad I was not the only one that thought I was losing my mind. lol

  • Bryanna February 1, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Isn’t it weird how you can adore one book from an author, and hate another? I adored It Ends with Us, but haven’t loved her other stuff! I may or may not have to check this book out just to see what you’re talking about! Thanks for sharing!

  • Dena February 1, 2019 at 7:49 am

    I have read and loved all of Liane Moriarty’s books but didn’t get that far with Nine Perfect Strangers. So it isn’t just you! I look forward to your book reviews each month! I just finished My Oxford Year and LOVED it!

  • Hannah February 1, 2019 at 7:49 am

    I’m a big Colleen Hoover fan, but verity was AWFUL. So poorly written and the dumbest plot ever. I finished it, but it was a huge waste of time.

  • Taylpr February 1, 2019 at 7:49 am

    All of the mixed reviews on Verity have me so intrigued. When I requested it at the library a month ago they said there were several people on the list ahead of me so I figured it had to be a good one but to be determined😬 This month I’m recommending As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissener. It’s historical fiction about the Spanish flu and it will break your heart and then mend the pieces back together by the end.

    • Carly February 1, 2019 at 8:14 am

      Have you read Secrets of a Charmed Life or Fall of Marigolds by Meissner? They are my 2 favorites by her and are SO GOOD!!

      • Taylor February 1, 2019 at 4:10 pm

        I’ve read Secrets of a Charmed Life & it is in my top five of best books I’ve ever read. I need to read more of her books!

      • Susanne February 1, 2019 at 4:15 pm

        Those are both such good books! I loved them…especially secrets of a charmed life!

  • Mary February 1, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Have you read The Wife by Alafair Burke? It’s a really good psychological thriller! Not scary, but it will keep you turning the pages!

  • Amanda February 1, 2019 at 7:55 am

    I read eight books this month and only one was one you have not already recommended. I give you the credit because I finally broke down and bought a kindle! It is amazing, so convenient, and I find myself reading much more than with a normal book even though I swore I’d never go digital! The book you haven’t read I found on a “books you must read in 2019” list and it was great. It’s called We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels. Great plot and characters and very thought provoking.

  • Elizabeth Stiles February 1, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Disturbing is definitely the right word for Verity. I didn’t like it either! I did think it was a little like gone girl because the characters were so insane, but what really bothered me as a mom/human was reading a woman write about children like that! Yuck. Anyways, please read some Christina Lauren books! You will love them!

  • Sarah Parsons February 1, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I loved One Day in December! I loved how I could feel just how they were feeling throughout those 10 years. I just requested a copy of The Mother-In-Law based on your recommendation. And, I’ve heard the same things about the most recent Liane Moriarty books. It makes me sad! Have you read her sister’s, Nicola Moriarty, books? I loved The Fifth Letter. It was a story of friendship with suspense. My kids LOVE Dav Pilkey!! Has Smith tried Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures? They are big hits with my baseball loving boy. Your kiddos may love The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blakey. They are funny and I can’t keep them on my elementary school media center shelves. Happy Reading!!

  • Kaysey February 1, 2019 at 8:01 am

    New commenter here 🙂 I just finished Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce and I absolutely loved it. I also cannot remember if you have read Susan Meissner before. If not you must check out A Fall of Marigolds and Secrets of a Charmed Life. My current read is Sold on a Monday and so far so good! Thanks for the heads up on Verity- it is now off my list!

  • Liliane Dunham February 1, 2019 at 8:02 am

    I would like to recommend Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T Lee.. Its a story of twin chinese sisters and their everlasting bond while one is dealing with mental illness….loved loved this book…

  • TG February 1, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Please read: When Breathe Becomes Air, The Glass Castle, The Kitchen House and Educated! All 4 are so great.

    • Barbara Parnell February 1, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      Just read the Glass Castle wi th my son( school assignment)…didn’t like it the first time I read it ,but liked it much more this time…the life they led was insane.

  • Rana February 1, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I am reading the second book in the Outlander series. It’s a great series so far. It’s about a woman in 1940s england who somehow travels back in time 200 years. My 11 year old started reading the Sisters Grimm series. They were orphaned and then taken in by their grandmother. They find out fairy tale characters are real and their family’s job is to look out for them and solve mysteries. They are also trying to get their parents back.

  • Leslie S February 1, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Love your book reviews! I’m going to check out the one Sean recommended to you, and I love that my hubby can read it too!
    So excited to see Kensington and Smith giving reviews! My 9 yr old daughter loves the Dog Man series and I’ve just ordered Wish based on Kensington’s review! Thanks y’all – love that reading is a family affair for so many of us!

  • Kate February 1, 2019 at 8:16 am

    I love your book reviews! I’m finishing up No one Knows by JT Ellington… sooooo good!

  • Julie February 1, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Shay-you are pouring out my heart today! First of all, I am literally starting ‘One Day in December’ today. I’m glad you liked it. But yes, I was so so disappointed in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers!’ It started off okay, but in the end, my biggest problem was that it seemed so far fetched. The leader of the spa just went form zero to sixty and it seemed completely over dramatic, almost embarrassing! Which is surprising because Moriarty usually has such fantastic and believable characters. I have already pre-ordered Sally’s new book (can’t wait!). Also, I just finished ‘Educated’ and ‘Crawdads’ and the were fantastic.

    In terms of recent reads from me, my favorite from last month was an older Piccoult -‘Small, Great, Things.’ It was fantastic! I could not put it down. I also read ‘An Unwanted Guest’ which I was obsessed with…until the END. I’m with you and need a good ending, and this ending seemed so abrupt. But the rest was SO good, so I still recommend it.

    Thanks for the kids book recommendations! I have kids your age, so I find these truly helpful. Sending good vibes to Madely today-hope she’s feeling better and better.

  • Addison February 1, 2019 at 8:22 am

    I love your book review days! They always make me want to call out sick and snuggle up with a book all day. One of my favorites from 2018 was Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Such an important book and one I won’t forget!

  • Kathleen Sollak February 1, 2019 at 8:22 am

    I am in agreement with your thoughts on Nine Perfect Strangers. Thanks for your other recommendations. I enjoy your blog very much. Yes, the comments section is a great read! Sending positive thoughts anf prayers for Ashby. She is a lucky girl to have been blessed with such awonderful family!

  • Paula February 1, 2019 at 8:24 am

    I just finished Eleanor Oliphant and loved it. I added your top 3 picks of 2018 last night and I an starting with Castle of Water.
    I love you addes Kensington & Smith’s reviews! 😊 Thank you.

    I am praying Ashby continues to feel more like herself and not in so much pain or sick today. Sweet girl.

  • Natalie C February 1, 2019 at 8:26 am

    You should read A Spy Among Friends. That was my first introduction to Ben MacIntyre. I LOVED that one!!!

    I read a lot and mostly enjoy nonfiction/historical fiction. If you’ve never read anything by Bill Bryson, you have must! Notes from a Small Island is a classic and the funniest book I’ve ever read!

    I really enjoy your book reviews each month!

  • Emily February 1, 2019 at 8:28 am

    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom!
    A Christian woman’s memoir about becoming a leader in the Dutch underground, hiding Jews during the nazi occupation of Holland! So good!!!

  • Shaunna February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Nine Perfect Stangers was AWFUL. Boring and just ridiculous.

  • Erin Chavez February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am

    I have the Mother in Law and One Day in December on my reserve list at the library! Can’t wait to read them! I read the Dinner List, finally! And started An American Marriage this week. I also have checked out Then She was Gone and the Light We Lost! I am going to be busy this month!

  • Kelly S February 1, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Book reviews by Smith and Kensington? You just made my mama heart melt! What a wonderful way to encourage them to be lifelong readers. This is the sweetest.

  • Carolyn February 1, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Have you read The Alice Network?! It’s awesome historical fiction and I think you’d really like it!
    I’m loving Where The Crawdads Sing… had a new baby last week and I was reading it while in labor hahah if a book can keep your attention thru that then that speaks for itself I think! 😂😂

  • Briana Lee February 1, 2019 at 8:34 am

    I got One Day in December as my BOTM and liked it a lot more than I thought I would! It was a super cozy story that I read over my Christmas vacation, appropriately but I think you’re right, it’s not one you MUST read during the holidays. Then, I started “Nine Perfect Strangers” because the plot description sounded right up my alley, but I couldn’t get past maybe 50 pages. It really was so boring! I’ve been hearing the same from everyone I know who has tried reading it.

    As for recommendations, if you haven’t read Lilac Girls yet, you have to! It’s incredible.

    briana | youngsophisticate.com

  • Courtney February 1, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I hated Verity too! It’s all over book Instagram and I was so excited to read it. Very disturbing indeed. Was definitely not a fan. Colleen Hoover has written an off kilter book before that wasn’t with her regular publishing company called “Too Late” that I was definitely not liking. Now looking back, that one was tame in comparison. Verity was just bad! My favourite books this month were Before we were yours, and It’s not supposed to be this way by Lysa Terkuerst!
    @whatcourtneyreads

  • Lauren February 1, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I love Liane Moriarty but I HATED Nine Perfect Strangers. It was just awful, and so ironic that one of the main characters was a writer who lost her touch… I think Book Review Day is the best day!!! And my third grade boy is also Dav Pilkey obsessed. That, and the “I Survived” series and Harry Potter.

  • Ashlea February 1, 2019 at 8:38 am

    If you’re looking for a new spiritual book, I recommend Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin. It’s very practical. One of those books that is now littered with highlights. I loved every chapter.

  • Tara February 1, 2019 at 8:40 am

    I’m so excited you are adding the kids’ recommendations as well! I put both of Kensington’s on hold for my 10 year old daughter. I think she will enjoy being in on the book reviews now. I just finished #3 in the Call the Midwife series. I really enjoy those!

  • Paige Connell February 1, 2019 at 8:48 am

    I read Nine Perfect Strangers and thought it was so BLAH and BORING, but that I was the only one who felt that way! It just never went anywhere! I love that K&S are getting into this–gives me great ideas for my kiddo, and it warms my teacher heart to see them so excited about reading and sharing!

    You need to read An American Marriage (about a black couple whose marriage is put to the test when he is falsely accused and convicted of a crime and sent to prison for many years). It is a sharp and stunning look at injustice, relationships, love and family.

    I’m also reading one now called Not That I Could Tell, about a group of friends who meet at one’s house for a girl’s night, but the next day one of them disappears. She’s in the middle of a messy divorce, and they all realize they may not have known her as well as they thought they did. It’s really good!

  • Angie G February 1, 2019 at 8:48 am

    I read a lot of the same books you do, and appreciate the details you share of books. I just did my winter book review, read a lot of “definitely recommends”. https://www.angiegillikin.com/2019/01/22/book-review-18-19-winter-edition/

  • Meaghan February 1, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Have you read anything by Christina Lauren? They are my new favorite author. Love and Other Words was one of my favorite books in 2018. Roomies was also a fun read. Also, I think you’ve read The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, which I loved. Have you read her follow up to that book, The Proposal? It’s great too!

  • Bridget February 1, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Omg, this might have been my favorite book review post ever – it was so genuine! We’ve all been there after reading a book we hated, and your thoughts captured those emotions perfectly. I was actually laughing aloud because it’s just so disappointing in the moment (but apparently funny in hindsight) 🙂
    I would recommend The Dinner List (Rebecca Serle) – totally different than anything else I’ve read.

  • Brittany Porter February 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

    I read Where the Crawdads Sing and The Tattooist of Aushwitz. LOVED both of them.

  • Robin February 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

    I was so disappointed by Nine Perfect Strangers and Liane Moriarty. Her last couple of books just aren’t on the level with her earlier ones. This month the winners for me were The Tattooist of Auschwitz, and Becoming by Michelle Obama- which surprised me and was a great read! I liked One Day In December too, but thought it needed more follow up after the big 10 year buildup!

  • Megan February 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Always look forward to these reviews! Love your honesty. I read several books in January. The two I enjoyed the most were The Au Pair by Emma Rous and The Light Over London by Julia Kelly. Both go back and forth from present day to the past which I love!! You should check them out.

  • Elizabeth February 1, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Boo for more bad books than good this month! If it’s not on your list yet, you should read “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate. As an adoptive mama, it definitely pulled my heartstrings! I follow you and another bloggers reading lists, so if it was you who posted this one, I apologize. I’m pretty sure it was the other. 🙂

  • Nicola February 1, 2019 at 8:58 am

    I am not normally someone who comments on blog posts but I have to agree with you on Nine Perfect Strangers. I read pretty fast but I have been reading it since October (on and off) and it’s just blah! I have 80 pages left and I have to finish it to mark it 100% on Goodreads!!! Once I am done, I am going to re-read one of my favorite books – Three Little Words. This is a true story about a young girl in the foster care system in the United States, highly recommend it.

  • JL February 1, 2019 at 8:58 am

    The Alice Network is so good!!!!! One of my favorites of 2018!

  • Gardner Story February 1, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Hey Shay! Did you ever read Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber?? Also, did you read What Alicia Forgot by Liane Moriarty? If so, did you like that one? Curious which book you’re referring to when you said you read one recently but also didn’t like it.

  • Angela February 1, 2019 at 9:03 am

    I agree that the plot of Nine Perfect Strangers was odd and not feasible but I LOVED the character development! I haven’t read her other books so maybe it helped that I wasn’t comparing…

  • Staci Patyrak February 1, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Reading your book reviews inspired me to get back into reading. Now that both of my kids are in elementary school and I have a blissful 40 minute commute to and from work, Audible is my best friend. I’m totally obsessed with memoirs right now. Like…I can’t get enough of them. So, here are my recents:
    Year of Yes – Shonda Rimes=LOVED
    What I Know for Sure – Oprah=LOVED
    In Pieces – Sally Field=I really liked it, but it was really depressing
    Big Potential – Shawn Achor (work assignment)=I’m not typically into the “self help” as much, but I really liked this one
    Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis=I loved it the first time I read it and then found it harder to read the 2nd time simply because of ALL. THE. THINGS that happened in her life (totally believe her story, but it is crazy)
    Becoming – Michelle Obama=My favorite book of all time…PERIOD!
    Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape – Jenna Miscavige-Hill=LOVED (true confession: I am obsessed with Leah Remini’s show. Binge-watched over the summer and so I found it super easy to follow and recognized many of the names mentioned in the book).
    Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life – Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Bush=LOVED (I grew up with a father in politics, though not near to this extreme, so those moments tug at my heart and just love hearing all of their fun and poignant stories).

    Side note – I have always enjoyed the act of going to the bookstore, browsing through the selections and choosing books. However, there is something really powerful about all of the audio books that are read by the authors themselves. LOVE IT! Also one of my favorite books that I bought immediately while reading one of your book reviews was Class Mom. At the time! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sara Robinson February 1, 2019 at 9:07 am

    i’m the biggest Colleen Hoover fan – and as you were, I was completely disappointed with Verity. Truly HATED it. It made me very angry. I’m sure I’ll still read her future novels – but I’ll be a little leary.

  • Megan February 1, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I read An Anonymous Girl. It just came out and it is the same authors as The Wife Between Us. I really liked it!

  • Samantha February 1, 2019 at 9:11 am

    I really like Nine Perfect Strangers so don’t all write that one off! Verity was super distributing but I actually thought the plot was really clever (twisty and sick and way too much sex… but clever.) Try reading the 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It’s so unlike any murder mystery I’ve ever read. I loved the writing and depth of the plot.

  • Angela Pino February 1, 2019 at 9:12 am

    I completely agree with you about “Matchmaking for Beginners.” I had heard so much hype about it and then read it and was just “ehhhh.” I’ve added “The Mother-in-Law” to my want to read shelf on Goodreads. Have you read anything by Carolyn Brown? I’ve read “The Wedding Pearls” and “Small Town Rumors” and thoroughly enjoyed both. I also read “The Ex” by Alafair Burke and even though I called the end from the beginning, I was second guessing myself the whole time.

  • Amy February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

    A few books I read last month that I loved were “No exit” by Taylor Adams, so so good and suspenseful. “Dumplin” by Julie Murphy, great message and just entertaining…bonus a movie now on Netflix with Jennifer Aniston. I really enjoyed “One day in December” it was so cute! Happy reading.

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick February 1, 2019 at 9:26 am

    So glad you saved me from Verity and Nine Perfect Strangers! Had both on my “to read” list! I reviewed Matchmaking for Beginners in September and thought it was cute too! It’s free with Kindle Unlimited if anyone else has that. And I’ve got One Day in December in my review for next week too! I thought it was so good but yes, I’d have loved a bit more at the end.
    That Inspired Chick

  • Jennifer Maynard February 1, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Oh goodness, did not like the Liane book either. It just wasn’t up to her usual wonderful!
    And we are huge Dav Pilkey fans over here too! We are trying the Hazardous Tales books this month as I have heard they are great for boys that like graphic novels and love history, which is both for my boy 🙂

  • Dana February 1, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I always read your reviews and love them! I wind up buying a few of your books and often feel the same way you do about them. I have to share my all time 2 favorite books ever – they are older ones but I always recomend them to people because they are the ones I reach for time after time to re-read.
    Molokai by Alan Brennert – beautiful story of a Hawaiian girl who contracts leprosy and is sent away to live. It is such a great story and a sequal is coming out soon.
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. It is set in China and is a beautiful tale of friendship and love.
    Please read these and let me know what you think!!

  • Holly D February 1, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Oh no! I usually agree with most of your book reviews, however this month you disappointed me Shay! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED VERITY!!!!! Where the Crawdads Sing is probably my all time favorite book. Currently reading The Anonymous Girl and re-reading Girl Wash Your Face because I am so excited to read Girl Stop Apologizing next month!

  • Stacy February 1, 2019 at 9:35 am

    So I just read The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker. I picked it up on a whim and it is set in Sonoma and it was such a refreshing read. You would love it and I highly recommend it!

  • Meg February 1, 2019 at 9:35 am

    I had 4 favorites in 2018: The Great Alone, Where the Crawdads Sing and then Magic Hour (Kristin Hannah) and Love Walked In (Marisa De Los Santos). I know you’ve read the first two but I’d highly recommend the other two! I think I read Magic Hour in 24 hours- it was GRIPPING! And Love Walked In is so, so beautiful it had me in tears. Bonus: De Los Santos has a couple others (also excellent) that are about the same characters as Love Walked In. You can read them in any order but Love Walked In was my favorite.

    • Stephanie February 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      I second Marisa de los Santos. Belong to Me was my favorite! So.very.good.

  • Sara February 1, 2019 at 9:37 am

    You book reviews make me feel like I need to take a vacation. By myself. Just to read 🤣

  • Dawn February 1, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Have you read The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers? 3 book series I read probably 10 years ago and still tjink about…highly recommend. Also Defending Jacob by William Landay…..oh my twist after twist. Love your reviews and keep a list of “to reads” in my note section.

  • Susann February 1, 2019 at 9:40 am

    I love, love, love The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey!! It was such a magical, ethereal read and resonated with me for many, many days after I finished it. I bought it for my friend to read and she felt the same way!

  • Sonia February 1, 2019 at 9:42 am

    I’m currently working my way through Becoming by Michelle Obama, and literally, everywhere I am lately – on the bus, at coffee shops, it seems to be the book that everyone is reading! It’s been a slow read for me, but I know people that have just devoured it.

  • Maureen February 1, 2019 at 9:44 am

    From what I have read in other reviews I must be the one person who did not care for One Day in December. I had the hardest time reading it. It just did not grab my attention.

  • Lisa February 1, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Just finished Nine Perfect Strangers and glad to hear I’m not the only one who had trouble getting through the book! I was determined to finish it but my gosh 450+ pages of boredom, ha ha. Such a disappointment! Thank you for saving me from reading Verity, because it was on my list, i’m going to take your word for it! Loved One day in December! Got to go grab Sophie Kinsella’s new book, hoping it has me laughing out loud like most of her books do. Thanks for your reviews, my reading list continues to grow and you inspired me to pick up books again a few years ago and I’m just enjoying it so much!

  • Kelly Buffington February 1, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I admire you for pushing through to the end of a book that you do not like. I cannot. If I read 35% of a book and really wasn’t liking it, I’d stop. I just figure that there are so many GOOD books out there, why waste time on a bad one? I haven’t read a really good book in awhile but looking forward to checking a few of these out. Thanks, Shay!

  • Stacey February 1, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Ugh as soon as you said you hated some I knew 9 Perfect Strangers would be one of them. I wanted to love it so bad but I hated it too. I pushed to the end (it took 2 weeks that should have told me something) and was just mad at myself for wasting that much time. Fortunately I read 2 other books this month and loved them both! Vox by Christina Dalcher was very Handmaids Tale-esque and I couldn’t put it down. The second was Not Quite Over You by Susan Mallory and it was just a light chick lit quick read!

  • Erin February 1, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I’m with you. Liane Moriarty got me reading again a few years ago when I found What Alice Forgot at my local library. But I didn’t like Truly, Madly, Guilty and now you’re telling me her newest isn’t good either! UGHHHHH!!

  • Barbara February 1, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I read 3/4 or Nine Perfect Strangers last month and just have not been able to finish it. I think I will leave it that way. So disappointed.

  • alyssa February 1, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who hated 9 Perfect Strangers! I, too, love her books and was excited, but I got through the first chapter and I returned it to the library.

  • Jenn February 1, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Shay, I always enjoy your book review! I went back and read about Swear on this Life from your recommendations and discovered it’s currently on $2.99 on kindle!!! I snatched it up! Thank you!

  • Kayla February 1, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Nine Perfect Strangers was awful! I hate when I finish reading a book and think of the time I wasted (that could have been spent reading a GOOD book.) I almost always agree with your favorite books, so I think you would like these two. My two favorite books last year were The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly & Before We Were Yours by a Lisa Wingate. They are both so moving and have a little bit of history in them too.

  • Jelena February 1, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Any of Kate Morton’s books. I’ve enjoyed all of her books, but I think The Secret Keeper Is my favourite, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Chevy Stevens is a Canadian author writing suspenseful books set in BC (where I live) and they’re quick and entertaining reads.

    • Susanne February 1, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Yes! Love Kate Morton and The Secret Keeper was definitely my favorite. That ending! 😱

  • Taylor Olsen February 1, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Love your reviews! You should read Nav’Aria: The Marked Heir by K.J. Backer! I’ll send a copy… OR it is Free with kindle unlimited right now. I could not put it down! Touches on the topic of adoption from a child’s perspective and set in a fictional world of unicorns, centaurs, nymphs, and man! Definitely not a kid book, but worth the read!

  • Darci February 1, 2019 at 10:16 am

    I love Colleen Hoover and Verity was by far the worst one have read! It was disturbing on so many levels.

  • Kate Tullis February 1, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I’m so glad you did a review on Nine Perfect Strangers. I have heard so many people say this was not a book they liked, and I trust your opinion, so I’ll skip it! 🙂 I really enjoyed One Day in December. Looking forward to grabbing a copy of Sally Hepworth’s new book when it comes out. Thank you for the kid book reviews! My daughter (8) LOVES the Dogman series and is just now starting to get into chapter books. Loved the review!

  • Jenna February 1, 2019 at 10:40 am

    The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons & We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter were SO SO good.

  • Paula February 1, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I just read The Gown by Jennifer Robson, and I thought it was great! It’s a fictional story of two embroiderers who worked on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown, and moves between London in 1947, and Toronto in 2016. So many interesting historical details!

  • MelanieL February 1, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Hi Shay. I will be 39 on Sunday and up until mid-December I had never read a book for pleasure. WOW! I bought a book in December and read it. (L’appart by David Leibovitz). I had to change my routine in order to read because I really wanted to read that book. Now I can’t be stopped! I’ve already read Class Mom and Wonder too and now I’m about 25% into The Identicals! I don’t even know who I am but I want to thank you for having an amazing list of books and reviews to reference. Here’s to reading in 2019!!

  • Jenny Smith February 1, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I am so grateful you do these reviews. I typically like Colleen Hoover and wouldn’t have given it a second thought to read Verity. While I can handle some language and sex scenes I usually try and steer clear of too much. Her other books have been just fine, thanks for saving me from disappointment and thanks for your recommendations!

  • Patty Anderson February 1, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for your honest feedback on the content of books you reads. I bought Verity for my kindle in December but hadn’t read it yet. Based on your review I deleted it, so thank you. I read a LOT but I’m currently behind, so not having as many books you adored this month actually means I’ll begin to get caught up instead of behind even further!
    So glad Ashby’s doing better after her rough day/night. Will continue to keep her in my prayers.

  • Shelly February 1, 2019 at 10:57 am

    So jealous you & Kensington read that book! I loved that book so much and my girls REFUSED to read it. I am typically so in tune with your reads but we are off this month..I LOVED Verity and Matchmaking for Beginners. Verity was very crude but I honestly thought it just did more to make the character appear increasingly obsessed and crazy. I couldn’t put it down and did also feel crazy when I finished reading for several days.

  • Bethanne February 1, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I was not a fan of “Nine Perfect Strangers” either!!! Thought I was crazy for not liking it because I have seen some reviews where people are raving about and loving it… Thanks for making me feel less alone on this one! 🙂

  • Briana February 1, 2019 at 11:20 am

    You are NOT ALONE in hating Nine Perfect Strangers. I have loved EVERY SINGLE Lianne book but OMG this was unbearable. I didn’t even finish it because it was just too long, too painful and gave me NOTHING. I’m so glad it wasn’t just me because it got decent reviews. I’ve realized it’s ok to not like certain books, it’s not mean but just not our taste!

  • Carly February 1, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I just clicked on Swear on This Life, and the kindle version is for sale on Amazon for $2.99! I thought that may help persuade some people. Also, have you ever tried the app Overdrive? It’s a way to borrow books (including ebooks and audible) from your local library. You do have to have a library card. I just started using it, and have been very happy with how easy it is!

    • Jeanelle February 1, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      Try Libby by Overdrive if you haven’t yet – I think they are trying to update Overdrive without freaking out users lol. Libby is pretty awesome – really user friendly.

  • Allena Gurley February 1, 2019 at 11:28 am

    My son is right in between Kensington and Smith’s ages (he’ll be 10 in June), so I already love hearing your reviews, but I’m excited for the kid recommendations too! Trent (my son) loves Dav Pilkey, the Big Nate series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Calvin & Hobbes comics (he is SUCH a Calvin ha), sometimes the ‘Who Was’ series, and right now we’re reading the Harry Potter series together. We’re on the 4th book. I am a HUGE Harry Potter lover and love that he begs me to read longer every night because he is SO into the story. I think this one could be a good one to read with both Kensington and Smith. My sister just read the first one with her 3 kids (10, 8, 6) and they ALL loved it. My favorite book of 2018 was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (WW2 historical fiction) and the movie version is on Netflix (it was released in the UK but not here) and it’s awesome. It’s one of those movies I could watch over and over and over again!

  • Peggy February 1, 2019 at 11:32 am

    I really wish you would consider writing a children’s book on compassion. It’s so lacking today and your family seems to have mastered it.

  • Jordan@the2seasons February 1, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Two suggestions I just read.
    1.Dumplin by Julie Murry. Cute quick read coming of age and the pageant world in Texas. There is now a Netflix movie with Jennifer Anniston based off this cute book.
    2. Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West. It is about the life upstairs more the private life with the chief Usher. He documents his 28 years in the White House and it so fun to learn about the styles and lives of the first ladies.

  • Robyn Lillyq February 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I love your book reviews! And agree, Where the Crawdads Sing…wow! What a beautiful book and story.
    The new Liane Moriarty book….yuck city!!!! She’s on a downward slide and is becoming way too predictable and the subjects are boring and out there or the characters just aren’t likable. If you haven’t read, Becoming by Michelle Obama…do it! And anything by Marisa De Los Santos is great. She writes YA but really anyone can read them. When Love Walked In is her first novel. She has a great Alex and Eliza series if you are into Hamilton story in the fictional sense! Keep the reviews coming, cranky and all. Because you know when mama invests time in reading books…well it better be worth the investment : )

  • Rebecca Jo February 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

    So glad to hear that about Nine Perfect Strangers because I’ve almost picked it up a few times.

  • B.Y.S. February 1, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    I finished reading Crazy Rich Asians which I did love! Hoping to get the other 2 books in the Trilogy sometime soon. Now I am back to reading another one of Karen Kingsbury books.

    -Amy

    http://www.akwestbeld.blogspot.com

  • Kelsee February 1, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    I absolutely LOVED Verity! I couldn’t put it down and read it in a matter of hours. Yes, it was super disturbing & creepy and had me reeling for weeks after, but wow! Definitely one of my all-time favorites (probably because I really like thrillers). I also read Swear on this Life per your recommendation this month. Soooo good! Definitely made my all-time favorite list as well.

    I also read I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll and it was just okay. Currently reading Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan and I am really loving it so far!

  • Alisha February 1, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    I live for M&MM book review day! (Maybe I need to get a more exciting life?) As I was recently reading Where the Crawdads Sing, I kept thinking “Does Shay know this exists?!” And of course you did and of course you loved it. It now dwells in my soul – such a heavy, wonderful story. Looking forward to diving into your newest recommendations now!

  • Jodi Guntle February 1, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    The Tattoist of Auschwitz was a good read. So HARD to read, like to the point of tears , but very good. I like Colleen Hoover a lot but have not picked up Verity yet because of the mixed reviews. The one of hers that I hated was Without Merit. Don’t bother with that one in my opinion. Read the Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, amazing!

    • Susanne February 1, 2019 at 4:33 pm

      Winter Garden is just about my absolute favorite book ever! I used to buy a copy every time I saw one just so I could give to friends to read!

  • Kerri February 1, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    So excited to give some of these a try! I’ve got to say, your bad review of Verity has me intrigued. I’ve read a few more reviews all saying it was disturbing yet they all gave it 5 Stars 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ll definitely be downloading tonight. I’m currently reading “Her Last Breath”. It’s kind of got the Law and Order feel with a little backstory from the first book “My sisters Grave”. I loved “My sisters Grave” but this one has been tough for me to get through. Been reading for a few days and I’m only on 30%..I’m trying!!

  • Amanda Eaton February 1, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Nine Perfect Stragners…oh my mercy…SO bad. I threw in the towel. Sigh.

  • Jeanelle February 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    I started “Last Mrs. Parrish” today and I’m loving it. Thank you for recommending it! Last month I read “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty and that was fantastic but I had to give up on “Truly Madly Guilty.” I could not get into that book at all. I so appreciate your reviews – keep being real/honest/you!!!

  • Nicole February 1, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    I read Sarah’s Key and Crazy Rich Asians. I saw you bought the movie and now that I’ve finished I want to see the movie and start the next book of course!

  • Lauren February 1, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I heard Are You There God… is going to be a movie! Can’t wait!

    Have you read Every Day, Room, or anything by Lisa Gardner (half her books take place in Boston!).

  • Lana B February 1, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    I didn’t expect to like Nine Perfect Strangers, but I actually did. I related to the loss, the characters were well developed. The plot was outlandish, but so were the characters, so it made sense. It wasn’t quick read, all the heart eyes kind of book, and I felt like the dropped the ball a bit in the epilogue, but maybe reading ornaments without expectations helped! 🙂 Joshilyn Jackson – allll her stuff. Gods in Alabama is a good place to start, but her books don’t disappoint!

  • Linda E February 1, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    It’s always disappointing when a favorite author comes out with a not so favorite book!. I read four books this month–three were really good and one I hated (yes, there’s that word again) and finished only because it was for my book club. So, the book I wouldn’t recommend is Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. I don’t understand how it made so many ‘top’ lists in 2018. No one in my book club enjoyed it. One even said it was the worst book we ever read as a group and I have to agree. Now for the enjoyable books: An Anonymous Girl was a great sophomore thriller. Maybe a little more predictable than The Wife Between Us, but still really good. I also loved One Day in December. And my last book for the month was Dear Mrs. Bird, which was just such a sweet story. The heroine reminded me of a mix of Bridget Jones and Louisa Clarke!

  • Shelby Elyse Taylor February 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    “ and life comes back “ – Tricia Lott Williford
    “ let’s pretend we’re normal “ – Tricia Lott Williford
    “ you can do this “ – Tricia Lott Williford

    so so so so proud of my friend. her story is full of loss and life and redemption. you will be in awe of her strength.

  • Kelly Stokowski February 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I recently read An Unwanted Guest and Little Fires Everywhere. They were both good! Have you read those? I feel like I remember you not liking little fires everywhere but I looked back in your reviews and couldn’t find it. Would love to know your thoughts. Currently listening on audible to Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris, who I’ve started reading because of your reviews. Really good so far!!

  • Kelly February 1, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I like you, kept checking how far along I was in Nine Perfect Strangers because I was bored. However I kept at it and I found that I really liked the ending and the way all of the characters were wrapped up. The ending seems more true to Liane’s style and pace than the beginning.

  • Sally Hepworth February 1, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Shay, I have to make a confession. I saw your story this week that said you hated the book you were reading, and my heart sank. I thought you were talking about The Mother In Law! So relieved that you weren’t! Thank you so much (once again) for your sweet review and your recommendation. Your support really means the world and makes such a difference getting word out. I’ve had so many emails from readers who have discovered my books through you. Thank you x

    • Mix and Match Mama February 1, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      Friend, I could NEVER hate one of your books!!!!! The Mother-in-Law was BRILLIANT!! And after the dedication, I want to meet both of your in-laws 😉 .

    • Colleen February 1, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      I found your books through Shay’s reviews and am so grateful! You are an amazing writer. Cannot wait to read The Mother-in-law!

  • Sarah February 1, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Totally agree with you and Nine Perfect Stangers… it was such a let down. The first half was ok, I was thinking it could go somewhere but then the second half (which was way too long) was sooooooo random!! Like two totally different books. I told my sister who likes Liane books as much as I do to not even bother with it.

  • Laurel M February 1, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Have you read Four Seasons in Rome? It’s a quick read and it’s the story of the guy who wrote All the Light We Cannot See, how he moves to Rome with newborn twins to write the book. I didn’t hate 9 Perfect Strangers but I had no plot! The ending was so boring and I wanted the lady running the retreat to not be crazy in the end.

  • Leslie Allen February 1, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Oh I loved Verity! All of her books are pretty sexual though, so this one didn’t surprise me at all. I thought the plot was unique and it kept me intrigued!

    http://Www.withlovefromgeorgia.com

  • Donna February 1, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    I think Smith would really like The A-Z mysteries by Ron Roy and Hank the Zipper series by Henry Winkler
    I also loved These Is My Words by Nancy Turner A suggestion – ask your followers for some of their favorite household tips.

  • Michelle Roden February 1, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    I am so with you on Nine Perfect Strangers. I listened to it on Audible and about half-way through, I returned it. I rarely do that, but life is too short to read something you don’t like.
    I also read One Day in December and loved it! Very light, easy to read and fun.
    Thanks for your reviews!!!

  • Ellen February 1, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Agree with you about Verity-HATED it! Even worse, I couldn’t get the ending out of my head for weeks (not in a good way!)

  • Colleen T February 1, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Your review of Nine Perfect Strangers was SPOT ON! I did exact same thing of thinking “when will this be interesting?!” and clicked to see my progress and was at 37%. I only completed it because it was our book club book for the month. It was overall liked by the book club except for myself so I felt better when I saw your review. I found it just so blah. It picked up half way through but I just found that part a far strength and exhausted writing. Love your book reviews and suggestions! Our next book is Where the Crawdads Sing and then Crazy Rich Asians so looking forward to those.

  • Alissa Bayuk February 1, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Shay – a few things I have to say/ask – First of all – THANK YOU! for inspiring me to read again! At first I wasn’t a big fan of your book reviews because I didn’t think I had time to read. After I had my daughter, I needed something to do while I was pumping or nursing – I remembered all those book reviews you did and thought, “now is my chance to read!” so I went back through your reviews, made a list and started reading again! Now, I have made it a priority in my life because I enjoy it so much!
    After reading your 2018 book review I decided to read My Oxford Year – I got a few chapters in and stopped, it did not hold my interest at all! Should I keep going? Did it take a few chapters to get into it or are there other people who didn’t like it either?!
    Also, How do you get your books? Do you buy them all or use Kindle Unlimited? Do you use the app for your local library? Just curious what you find the easiest to do!

    • Susanne February 3, 2019 at 8:15 am

      I read my oxford year & am conflicted. It was good but so sad, so it’s hard to say what you should do. 🤷🏼‍♀️
      I really like owning books so I usually buy them, although I do check out from the library too. A good place to buy books online is thriftbooks.com I get a ton of books there for such a great price & you choose the condition of the book you want. Just an idea if you actually want to own the book!

    • Tina February 3, 2019 at 10:13 pm

      I didn’t care for the “oxford” book. I wish I would have set it aside and not wasted my time.

  • Mary Gunnels February 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Gosh, I’m so glad to hear you say that you hated Nine Perfect Strangers! I was SO LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. Like, counted down the days until it was released. And then I hated every second of it. I thought maybe it was just me, because I read a lot of positive reviews about it. But I thought the story was COMPLETELY pointless, and I hated all of the characters. I’m so glad it wasn’t just me!!

  • Ashley B February 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Book review day is my favorite! I love that you have included reviews by your oldest kiddos! I’m always looking for recommendations for my 7 year old son. After Dav Pilkey visited Auggie’s school he has been hooked. He’s into the Dog Man series.

  • Nicole February 1, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I agree with hating Nine Perfect Strangers. I was traveling with a friend who was going to read it after me and I told her not to bother and that it was terrible. Thanks for the book review, adding a few to my list now!

  • Angie February 1, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    I so appreciate your reviews! Don’t ever feel bad about being honest, sometimes they’re just not good, ya know?! 😂 I’m in a current reading slump of not-so-great books myself, so I appreciate knowing maybe which ones to stay away from at the moment! I did just start reading The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers, and based on the first several chapters I think it’s going to be a good one. Fingers crossed, ha! Your book review posts are my favorite posts, thanks for another one!

  • Chelsey Fernandez February 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Ahh no, I have Nine Perfect Strangers waiting for me at the library. I had been hesitant to read it though because I did NOT love the last one I read. What was it about Big Little Lies that was sooo good?! Which of hers did you like? I hated Truly Madly Guilty and there is one other I picked up and never finished but blanking on which one.

  • Beth Keller February 1, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    I was so disappointed in Nine Perfect Strangers as well! I have read all her other books and loved them, but this book was a mess😢

  • Anna February 1, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Nine Perfect Strangers was a big ‘no thanks’ for me – so disappointed! Just finished Dear Mrs. Bird and loved it! It’s very British, spunky and sweet – highly recommend. Began reading The Gown yesterday and am already enjoying it. Thanks for the honest reviews!

  • Cathy February 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    You and I have similar taste in books so I really think you’ll like The Idea of You by Robinne Lee. I got the recommendation from the comments of one of your book review posts and I loved it! A 40 year old woman takes her 12 year old daughter to a meet and greet of a very famous and popular boy band (modeled on One Direction I believe) and one of the boys in the band (20 years old) falls for the 40 year old! It was wonderful; such a great love story. It does definitely have some R rated parts, but I think it was worth the read for sure!

  • Linda February 1, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    I read Verity last week because I loved All your perfects and It ends with us. When I was done, it put me in an awful mood. I agree, it is such an odd and dark book.

  • Janice February 1, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    My favorite book of 2018 was Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan. Based on a true story, it’s set in WWII in Italy – stunning read, being made into a movie starring Tom Holland. You won’t be able to put it down!

    Recent favorite read: Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen

  • Heather February 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    I hated Nine Perfext Strangers also. And i’m Excited you loved The Mother-In-Law! I started it today! & have you read Sometimes I Lie? It was my favorite thriller last year? Fight or Flight by Samantha Young? I just finished it & it was so cute!

  • Andrea J McAnally February 1, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    SO Excited to check out the mother-in-law!!

  • Amy D. February 1, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    I read Live Life In All Caps by Teresa Collins and It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst this month. Both of these books were very inspiring and I rated them 5 stars on Goodreads.com.

    I’m currently reading You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life.

  • Colleen February 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    This month, I read The Ragged Edge of Night, The Story of Arthur Truluv, and I’ll be Gone In the Dark. All very different from one another, but all so good.

  • Barbara Parnell February 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    While the kids are on a Judy Blume kick, Smith might enjoy Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge. My boys always enjoyed them. I’m getting ready to start Crawdads myself. Love to see what everyone is reading. Just posted my children’s Valentine Book recommendations on my blog. Parnellspantry@blogspot.com

    • Barbara Parnell February 2, 2019 at 11:43 am

      wrong link! lol.. parnellspantry.blogspot.com

  • Janet February 1, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    First, poor sweet Ashby. Throwing up is the worst. Can they give her something for the nausea? Second, Thank you for your book reviews. I find so many to add to my reading lists. I listen to a lot of books using Audible and Hoopla apps while I work and travel.

  • Stacey W. February 1, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    I completely agree about Nine Perfect Strangers! I was SO disappointed. I listened to the audiobook and it was not even entertaining that way either. Such a let down because I loved some of her earlier books.

    Have you read The Paris Architect? It is a captivating read! It’s historical fiction about Nazi-occupied France and that book is incredible! One of the best I read last year.

  • Mary C February 1, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    I just read, “A Chance for Home” by Traci Hunter Abramson. It’s about a player for the Washington Nationals baseball team and a girl he meets. It’s a really sweet love story mixed in with a lot of baseball and with your love of baseball I think you’d really like it.

  • amanda February 1, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    I ordered Verity after so many people in Ashley Spivey’s facebook book club raved about it. Now I’m hesitant to read it. I feel like there needs to be a rating on how much sex and language is in the book. I am fully aware of how her books are, but I want to know if it’s like 5 stars on the raunchy scale. Small Great Things was one of my favorite books and is going to be made into a movie, so I highly recommend that. Sophie Kinsella has a new book coming out this coming Tuesday, I Owe You One that I hope is good. Rush is another good one that is based in Oxford, and kinda similar to The Help. I think you would like it. Also, the author of The Hating Game has a new one that I think just came out that is on my way to my house. I have not read it but it is called 99 Percent Mine. You got me into Sally Hepworth’s books and I have loved all of them. Can’t wait for her new one.

  • Molly February 2, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I always enjoy your book reviews. I was excited to see that your kids are including reviews because I have a 10 year old girl and a 7 year old boy. Keep the reviews coming.

  • Kimberly February 2, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Verity was disturbing, but I read it really quickly. I was afraid that it would give me nightmares, so I wanted to finish it and move on! I guess I don’t do well with suspense. I also thought Matchmaking was just OK. I get annoyed when characters in books or movies cheat on their spouse and shrug it off with “we weren’t meant to be” or “it’s ok because it was for true love.”

  • CARRIE ANDERSON February 2, 2019 at 3:49 am

    Love the reviews
    Thanks for the notes on the Colleen Hoover book, because I am like you when it comes to “rated R” content. If it’s a few scenes that fit into the story, then ok. However rated R just for the sake of throwing it in there is not of interest to me.

  • Julie February 2, 2019 at 5:03 am

    I liked Nine Perfect Strangers, but it wasn’t nearly as good as some of Moriarty’s other books. I really like Sally Hepworth, so I just requested The Mother-in-law from the library. I hope it comes in soon!
    I really enjoyed Educated, A Spark of Light, Station Eleven, and America for Beginners. Thanks for the book reviews, I’m always reading and adding more books to my list!

  • Deanna February 2, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Thank you for saving me from a few books on my list! There are too many good books to read to suffer through the bad ones. 🙂
    http://www.fromheretozehr.blogspot.com

  • Kate February 2, 2019 at 7:44 am

    I love your book reviews! And have a recommendation- I hope you can get to this book because I think it will really speak to you
    https://www.amazon.com/Where-Wind-Leads-Miraculous-Redemption/dp/0718037499/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1547217969&sr=1-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=where+the+wind+leads&dpPl=1&dpID=41jq7UGENJL&ref=plSrch

    It’s called Where the Wind Leads and it’s a true story about a Chinese family from Vietnam before the Vietnam war and it the amazing power and resilience of the human spirit.

  • Hollie February 2, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Did you read Lianne Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty? I don’t recall you reviewing that one but it’s been a few years. I also hated that one (sorry!). It was awful to get through.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 2, 2019 at 9:30 am

      I did read that one!

  • Ashley February 2, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Ok-I think I’ll stay far away from Verity thanks to your review! Ha! This is my favorite post that you do each month and I love that you have added in what the kids are reading. I have a book instagram where I post picture books up to adult books if you would like recommendations for your kids and for you! ☺️ It’s @ashfamilybooks

  • Alexis deZayas February 2, 2019 at 9:21 am

    I’m halfway through The Mother In Law and can’t put it down!!

  • Celeste Clark February 2, 2019 at 9:22 am

    I love your book reviews!! Have you read Left to tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza and Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island
    Book by Regina Calcaterra.

  • Jayne February 2, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I just finished One Day in December this week, and I enjoyed it, too. I think I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t like Big Little Lies, so I haven’t read any more Liane Moriarty books since then – looks like the consensus is to skip the latest one as well. I have such a huge TBR list and will be adding your favorites to that list as well. I always appreciate getting so many good suggestions from your posts and the comments. I’m going to pick up Class Mom along with Inherited by Dani Shapiro at the library later today – it’s on tap for the new Happier Podcast book club, so I hope I can read it quickly enough to join in their discussion. Is anyone else a Gretchen Rubin fan?

  • Barbara Parnell February 2, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Read Brave Love by Lisa Leonard..I think you will like it. She has a jewelry business and is also mom to two boys, one of whom has serious disabilities. It’s her story about falling in love, marrying, children,success, challenges,a marriage almost falling apart and somehow managing to bring it all together again and be a happy,loving family. It’s honest and uplifting.

  • Katy February 2, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    I read Verity this month, too, and I couldn’t put it down! It was FOR SURE very disturbing, and so many parts were SO hard to read–but I think if you want to “like” a book in the thriller genre, being disturbed while reading is probably kind of the point? Anytime I pick up a thriller book I kind of expect for it to not be love and rainbows and usually expect the characters to be super messed up–which was definitely the case in Verity! It reminded me a lot of Gone Girl with how psychotic Verity’s thinking was. I have to say though, there were several times while reading that I realized my face was making a horrified expression (in the scenes with her twins…) so I had to stop and catch my breath. I ended the book just feeling disturbed. Ha! Which, again, is maybe a good thing for a thriller/suspense book?

    Anyway–I also read Where the Crawdads Sings thanks to your rec and LOOOOOVED it!!! I keep thinking about Kya and Tate (oh Tate!). I also read Swear on this Life and thought the writing was kind of sloppy (I read this one right after the beautiful writing of Crawdads though), but I still really loved the story. And last but not least, I read and LOVED Before We Were Strangers. I keep thinking about those characters, too!

    Just started “And Then You Loved Me” and am extremely intrigued by the plot!! It is free on Kindle Unlimited right now.

  • Amanda February 2, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    finished Nine Perfext Strangers and didn’t like it. I’m so glad to read you and others didn’t as well. I also finished Next year in Havana, which I loved and will be reading the next book when it comes out. it reminds me of Beatrice Williams and the Schuyler sisters series. Pachinko is amazing and highly recommend.

  • Ann February 2, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    “Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat.” This book was a standout for 2018. Gave two as Christnas gifts. Opened my eyes to the cycle of poverty, but in the most entertaining way. The author is a legit comedian. It’s an easy read, but funny and eye-opening. I plodded through Nine Perfect Strangers. Hated it. LOVED Where the Crawdads Sing with my whole heart. Mixed feelings about “Circe.” The storytelling is engaging and addictive, and I read half of it in one sitting. Conflicted about the element of witchcraft…and didn’t end up finishing. But the writing was SO GOOD. “Stay With Me” was pretty good and something different.

  • Romi February 3, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I just finished Verity last night and I actually really liked it! I suppose I was well prepared for the level of disturbing based on reviews. I was genuinely freaked out which I haven’t been by a thriller in a while. I think it’s cool that Colleen branched out and tried something new. One day in December is next for me – need something light! Then Where the Crawdads Sing. I always look forward to your monthly posts 🙂

    So I’ve actually never read a Liane Moriarty book. What do you or others recommend starting with? Obviously not Nine Perfect Strangers 😉 I’ve watched Big Little Lies so maybe not that one either (loved it though!)

  • Kim Scholl February 3, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    If you have kids that are at a 5-6 grade reading level, my kids loved “False Prince”. Well written preteen book with some great twists. For you I would highly recommend “Like Water from My Heart”. Loved this book!! Great author. I would actually recommend anything he has written.

  • Dawn February 3, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I was so anxious to get Nine Perfect Strangers. I thought I would love it. And…. did not like it. I kept waiting for something to happen and it didn’t 🙁

  • Rebecca Rooney February 4, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I just finished Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid, it’s about a girl who moves home to LA and on the first night home she is out with friends and trying to decide whether to go home with her best friend where she is staying, or leave with her ex boyfriend. Every chapter after that alternates, one chapter is the story of what would happen if she went home with the best friend, and the next chapter is about what would happen if she leaves with the ex boyfriend. It was great!

  • Lacey February 4, 2019 at 7:43 am

    If you’re looking for a new book for Kensington my daughter (also 10) just finished The Mysterious Benedict Society and she loved it! She enjoyed it so much that I bought her the box set (it’s a series of 4 books).

  • Brooke February 4, 2019 at 8:21 am

    I loved Where the Crawdads Sing! My other favorites that I just read are Pachinko and The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Really great books!

  • Anita G. February 4, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Have you ever read anything by Diane Chamberlain?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 4, 2019 at 11:42 am

      I have! I really like her!!

  • Megan February 5, 2019 at 9:39 am

    If you liked The Spy and the Traitor, you may also like the show The Americans. You can binge watch through Prime Video. It’s a similar story, but the KGB spies are a couple living in the U.S.

  • Claire February 5, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Echoing others recommending Pachinko! Americanah and The Mothers are two of my other recent faves. The Neapolitan Novels are also wonderful but also emotionally devastating!!

  • Dana February 6, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Where/how do you get your books? Is it as simple as ordering from Amazon or do you have tricks/tips for getting recent releases through the library? Are you reading on a kindle or the physical copies? Just curious!

    I’ve been scoping out my local Goodwill as people are KonMari purging and checking eBay for books like Crawdads because the library wait list for the recent releases is so long!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2019 at 11:32 am

      I switched to using a Kindle over a year ago and can’t go back. The light alone makes the Kindle perfect for me. I buy my books on Amazon. Sweet Sally Hepworth is actually a blog reader/turned friend, so she sent me an early edition of her book.

  • Amanda February 7, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Just curious….do you take notes after you finish each book so you have them for your monthly review? Or can you remember all the details/feelings when you sit down to write these posts?

    I’m throwing it back and reading a book I’ve always had in my pile but never gotten around to. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. I’m about 3/4 way through and it’s been good from the start. And not at all dated like some books can be that were written several decades ago. It’s set in England so I think you might like it and it goes back and forth between the 1940s and 1980s.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2019 at 8:16 am

      I do!! I keep a list on my phone that goes back to 2017! Each book is listed in order that I read it along with notes.

  • Emily February 7, 2019 at 11:28 am

    I have loved 4 of Liane Moriarty’s books and haven’t cared for two, so I did not read Truly Madly Guilty based on your review. Now I will not read Nine Perfect Strangers based on your review, so thank you for saving me that misery! I really liked Rachel Hollis’s Girls Book series, Party Girl, Sweet Girl and Smart Girl. They were sweet and simple, great quick reads, I think you’d like them for a happy read on a procedure day. I also just finished The Royal Runaway and I give it 4/5 stars, so you may want to pick it up : ) Did you know that you can use the Libby App to get books on your Kindle free from the library? It doesn’t work for new releases but they have a tremendous amount of digital content, both Kindle and Audible.

  • Sayra February 10, 2019 at 3:30 am

    I just finished The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell and it is a wonderful book. It’s a fictional story about a boy growing up with ocular albinism (red eyes) and it’s just a wonderful book about faith, family, and finding strength in yourself. It’s just a great read that I couldn’t put down.

  • Chelsea February 11, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    I read Verity and I loved it. I just thought it was so different. Don’t get me wrong, it was MESSED UP! So many things made me think “did I really just read that?” but I couldn’t put it down and then when I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It left me with a book hangover for weeks. I think it was just so disturbing and in that I kept thinking about it, maybe that’s how good it was. I couldn’t like Verity at all, I hated her and Lowen, meh she was just blah to me.

  • Kate February 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Wow! Just finished An Anonymous Girl. Holy cow, so good I’m sad it’s over and had to come here to find something else to read ASAP!
    I think it’s one that would be right up your alley, I couldn’t put it down and the characters were all fantastic!

  • Ashley February 18, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Thank you for adding book reviews for kids! My 10 year old and I just finished Wish and we loved it. I had not heard of that book before reading your review. Now we are reading another Barbara O’Connor book- How to Steal a Dog. Can’t wait to see what Kensington recommends in your February review!

  • Valerie H February 27, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    I’m SOOOOO excited that you are having the kids do a book review!!! My kiddos will be so excited when these arrive!! I hope they keep the reviews coming!! My daughter and son are the the same ages as yours, so it’s perfect!! ❤️❤️