April 2019 Book Review

Oh goodness…it’s Monday…and everything is so bittersweet.
First, we had the BEST time in Walt Disney World last week…and even though I’m happy to be home, I’m sad that I’m not still there. (Re-entry after vacations are HARD!!)
Second, some of my books this month were blah.
Noooooooooo.
I hate that!
I read four books this month and two of them, I didn’t like at all.  Now, I did enjoy the second two (so that’s a plus!), but I hate that I even bothered with the first two (and probably missed out on some good reads in the process!).  Don’t you hate when you finish a book and think “why did I even bother?”?
So, needless to say, today’s post is going to have a lot of highs and lows.
Here we go…
…I started the month with How Hard Can It Be?…and a quarter of the way through the book, I polled people on Instagram about whether they stick with books they don’t love or quit them.
Yeah.
Not a good sign.
Um, I picked this book because it checked off of all my favorite boxes: It’s a novel.  It’s set in Britain. The main character sounded quirky and fun.  I didn’t like it though.  Has anyone else read it?  Or anything else by this author?  Maybe I picked the wrong Pearson book to read????  I found the main character quirky (yay!).  She is a busy mom trying to support her family because her husband has decided to take time to “find himself”…but I thought the book was boring, flat and slow moving.  It just draggggggggged on.  I never wanted to pick this book up because I would read a chapter or two and be totally disinterested. So, that’s that.  I would love to know if any of you have read it too.
I decided to follow up that book with a sure fire winner.  I loved The Hating Game when I read it a few years ago, so when the author came out with a new one, I was PUMPED!
I couldn’t wait to dig into 99 Percent Mine!
And I didn’t like it at all.
Uggggggggggggg.
Okay, raise your hand if you’ve read this one!  I need someone to discuss it with me.  Please.
Here’s the thing, where the last book was just boring to me, this one, I didn’t love the main characters and didn’t see the chemistry between the two AT ALL.  I also didn’t think the story was well-developed.  There were a lot of references to these people when they were younger, but not enough backstory for me to get the attraction they had.  I thought it was slow and lacked much of a plot.  I just did not like it.  (Insert me crying here!).  Now, please note, both of Thorne’s books I just referenced ARE RATED R.  So, buyer beware…but if you’re okay with that, I did really like The Hating Game, I just didn’t like this novel.  In a nutshell, it’s about a girl whose home is being renovated by a friend she grew up with.  She lives there while he is renovating it…and apparently, they have great chemistry…I just didn’t feel it.
Want to hear the good news though?  I LOVED book number three!
Ohhhhhhh!  It’s Always the Husband was a WINNER!
Here’s why I loved this novel, I feel like today, every other book is a psychological thriller…and don’t get me wrong, I love those, but this one was suspenseful while also having a great plot (and not just a book of mind games).  Does that make sense?  Sometimes, I read those novels and by the time I read the last page, the whole thing was so twisted and complicated that I lost the plot inside, but not this one.  This is just a good old-fashioned “who done it” with a modern day edge.  It’s about three friends who meet in college how their lives unfold into adulthood after someone dies…and then, someone else dies too.  Some of the chapters are present day and some of them are back from when they were in college.  I found all of the characters interesting, I liked the setting, I liked the sub-characters, and I really didn’t know who “did it” all the way through.  This was a refreshing read after the first two.
My fourth and final book this month was…
Maid by Stephanie Land.
So many of you recommended this memoir to me last month, and I’m so happy that I took your suggestions and read it!  The author writes about how she found herself living in poverty with her three year old daughter and what she did to pull herself out of it.  I thought at the core of this book was a story about a mom who loves her child.  It was really beautifully written.  For a time, she works as a maid, and so many of the chapters are also about her relationships with her clients (some she sees in person and really gets to know and others, she never meets, but their homes have a strong impact on her).  Several times, as I read through this one, I thought to myself “she is a really good author”.  It’s weird, but it just kept popping into my head.  I believe this is her debut book, but I’m already excited to see what she writes next.  I found this book honest, vulnerable, encouraging, hopeful, filled with love and promising.  I flew through it.
Now, this book, I read over a year ago and was honored that they included my little endorsement in it, so now that it’s out, I wanted to share this with you too…
…isn’t that graphic special?!  I really loved this book.  It’s a faith-based book on Rachel’s life and the struggles she’s overcome.  As a mom to an adopted daughter with special needs, she of course, pulled on my heartstrings.  You can purchase Expect God HERE.
And Kensington is contributing two books this month!  First up…
Good Dog 🙂 .
Please note, Kensington described this book while we were all in the car.  We all had different reactions.  Andrew said it sounded depressing, Smith said it would have been faster to read the book than to listen to her recap (it was looooong), and I kept asking “you really liked it?”.  She LOVED it!  This is a fictional tale about a dog that apparently…dies at the beginning of the book (that would be the depressing part), but comes back to Earth to take care of the boy he misses.  Her little recap sounded a bit heavy, but she seemed truly excited to talk about it, and the story apparently ends in an uplifting way (I don’t want to spoil it), so if you have a kiddo that can handle a book about a dog that comes back to life after a quick trip to heaven, this one is for you 😉 .
The second book she read (for her second time!) was…
Another book starring an animal…but this one, stuffed 🙂 .
Kensington read this one in the fall and then again this month, so that should say something!  She even has a beloved stuffed animal named Abilene (one of the main character’s names).  It’s a story about a girl and her stuffed animal that gets lost…and how they reconnect.  She loves this one!
So, I asked Smith and he said he read Because of Winn-Dixie and found it boring (but Kensington says he’s wrong and it’s really good!).  That’s all he wanted to contribute about his book. Ha!  Take that for what it’s worth 😉 .
That’s April!
This month, if you have read one of my books based on my reviews (this year, last year or any year), post a pic on Instagram or in your Stories, so that I can see!!  I’ll try and re-gram as many as I can!
Okay, what did you read this month???   Please comment and share!!!  I’m almost done with my first book for next month, and unless things spiral completely out of control, it is FANTASTIC!  In the meantime, please tell me what to read next!
Don’t forget!!  To see a running list of the books I’m reading this year, click HERE.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2015 (all 63 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2016 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2017 (all 62 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2018 (all 61 of them), click here.
Happy Monday, friends!!!
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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 29, 2019 at 4:40 am

    Glad to hear you had fun at Disney last week! I’m excited to hear all about it! 🙂 I love that Kensington reads so many books about animals. I used to choose books only if they featured animals too!

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

  • Erika Slaughter April 29, 2019 at 5:07 am

    It’s Always the Husband sounds like my kind of book! Adding it to my list now!

    • Becky April 29, 2019 at 5:24 am

      Because of Winn Dixie is one of my favorites! (I am an elementary school teacher.)

    • Jessica Bloodgood May 1, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      I have 3 huge winners for you! (These are my 3 favorite of 22 books I have read so far this year):
      1. Just Mercy (non-fiction) – written by the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and the work he has done to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners on Death row.
      2. The Great Believers (fiction) – about the AIDS crisis in the mid-80s in Chicago.
      3. This Is How It Always Is (fiction) – about a family with a transgender child.

      I HIGHLY recommend all 3 of these books – they are all incredibly important reads.

  • Narci April 29, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Your book reviews are always my favorite. I get the very best book recommendations from you, friend! 🙂

    • Shannon April 29, 2019 at 7:07 am

      My Favorite read this month was The Gown. Historical fiction about two embroiderers on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown in the late 1940’s, plus a little modern day mystery when a granddaughter tries to find out more. So, so good!

      • Elizabeth Conner April 29, 2019 at 7:54 am

        Smiths response to Kensington’s book review literally made me laugh out loud! Younger brothers are the best!

      • Casey April 29, 2019 at 3:37 pm

        I agree! I just finished it a couple days ago. It was so good!!

      • Katie A. April 29, 2019 at 5:53 pm

        Yes….The Gown was really good!

      • Rachel April 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm

        Yes to The Gown!! It was so good ☺️

    • Elizabeth April 29, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Felt exactly like you on “How Hard Can It Be”. Took me forever to get through. Had some cute moments, but definitely not a fave.

  • Tanya April 29, 2019 at 5:26 am

    It sounds like Disney was SO fun. I read a few duds this month too…they were psychological thrillers that were just completely forgettable. My favorite read of the month was The Last Husband by Katherine Center – you’d love it! Thanks for the recommendations – you can see my Media Monday post here –> Tanya – The Other Side of the Road

    • Alexis Jalovick April 29, 2019 at 6:03 am

      The Lost Husband was one of my favs by her!!! So so good!

    • Lyndsey April 29, 2019 at 6:48 am

      I agree! The lost Husband by Katherine Center is fantastic. And also highly recommend her happiness for beginners.

  • Holly April 29, 2019 at 5:32 am

    I can’t wait to try It’s Always the Husband!

    You need to read Beyond the Point! It’s a novel about three women who meet at Westpoint, and how their lives and friendships develop through college, deployment, and more. It’s GREAT!

  • Kristen Thompson April 29, 2019 at 5:39 am

    I read your recommendation The Mother-In-Law the day it came out and finished it the very next day-so very good! As always, I definitely recommend anything by Sarah Jio and I think you would like The Bungalow and Always. Her novels always have a present and past connection and come together in a very interesting way! They are suspenseful without being scary and are interesting and great stories!

    • Laure April 29, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      YES!!! I love anything by Sarah Jio!!

  • Emily April 29, 2019 at 5:39 am

    I didn’t really like 99% mine either if that makes you feel better. A book I enjoyed along those lines of current day boy and girl flashing back to a childhood best friend/romance was Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren. Disclaimer most of their books are like beyond rated R, yet this was their attempt at women’s fiction and I really liked it. I can’t remember if there are any R rated scenes but if so they weren’t a huge part of the book.

    • Alexis Jalovick April 29, 2019 at 6:02 am

      Love and Other Words was precious!! Their two after that one are great, too!

  • Shelley April 29, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Loved these books in the last month: the Well Behaved Woman, the Last Romantics, the Kennedy Debutante and the Matriarch- the Barbara Bush dynasty. I think you would love any of them!

  • Kelly April 29, 2019 at 5:46 am

    I stopped reading 99 percent in the first chapter and I loved hating game! I was so disappointed
    I always look forward to your reviews to add books to my list!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 5:52 am

      Happy to hear I’m not the only one!

    • Courtney April 29, 2019 at 8:20 am

      99 percent mine was a little flat for me too. Something was off with the writing too. Didn’t flow and was choppy. Love and other words by Christina Lauren was soooo good! @whatcourtneyreads

    • Nikki April 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm

      I also quit a few chapters in – which I NEVER do!

  • Denise Cain April 29, 2019 at 5:48 am

    ALL of Melanie Shankles books if you have not read them. She is hilarious!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 5:52 am

      Yes to that!! I’ve loved them all too!!!

  • Tammy Calhoun April 29, 2019 at 5:49 am

    I remember reading Because of Winn Dixie with my kids and loved it! I just finished Something In The Water and really enjoyed it. Always look forward to the book reviews!

  • Taylor April 29, 2019 at 5:56 am

    Ugh I didn’t like 99% Mine either. I honestly didn’t like The Hating Game either so I’m 0-2 for Sally Thorne. I’m sure you’ve seen all of the hype for Daisy Jones and the Six but I read it last month and the hype is definitely real! It was good!

  • Lexie April 29, 2019 at 6:01 am

    I loved Because of Winn-Dixie when I was a kid! 🙂

  • Alexis Jalovick April 29, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Completely agree with you about 99 Percent Mine. The Hating Game was one of my very faves but this one was so different and I never really loved any of the characters. It just didn’t develop well for me. Your thoughts in your review are pretty much all of mine. I was so disappointed!

    On a good note, I read The Huntress this month (by the author of The Alice Network) and loved it! Also loved The Girl He Used to Know (recommended by Ashley Spivey) and the last few by Kristan Higgins. My One and Only and Good Luck With That by Higgins were fantastic!

    Reading The Lost Girls of Paris now (by the author of The Orphan’s Tale) and it is SO good so far!

  • Nicole Miller April 29, 2019 at 6:03 am

    My son, Owen is reading Because of Winn-Dixie for school. We just started so we’ll see
    How he likes it 😉

  • Meghan April 29, 2019 at 6:11 am

    I felt the same way about 99 percent mine. It was predictable and dragged on and on. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one!

  • Sheaffer Sims April 29, 2019 at 6:24 am

    That girl on the first book cover? That’s me when I saw today was book review day.

    • Susanne April 29, 2019 at 2:28 pm

      😂😂😂

    • Holly April 30, 2019 at 7:30 am

      😂Reading the comments not for book ideas but to see what Sheaffer has to say about Book review Day😂

      • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 7:40 am

        They’re my favorite part too!

  • Sheaffer Sims April 29, 2019 at 6:24 am

    And I lol’d at Smith’s reaction.

  • Lynn April 29, 2019 at 6:35 am

    My daughter just gave me The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. She is “spot on” on good books. Easy to get into!

  • Angela Jernigan April 29, 2019 at 6:36 am

    John Grisham’s The Reckoning is really, really good!

  • Kimberly April 29, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Ghosted by Rosie Walsh was so good and Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodsen Harvey is the first in a three part series. Loved them both.

    • Kristy Harvey April 29, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Thank you so much, Kimberly! I’m so happy you enjoyed ❤️

  • Lexie April 29, 2019 at 6:42 am

    It’s Always the Husband was my favorite book I read this year! I could not put it down! I would wake up early before work just so I could pick up where I left off the night before. I work at a school and so many of the teachers have read that book because we have been passing it around to each other!

  • Savannah April 29, 2019 at 6:45 am

    I just finished 99% last night. I also was so excited because I loved Hating Game. My problem was the main character. I didn’t like her personality and she wasn’t cute and driven like Lucy. I think that is where my problem started. Second she mentioned how much these people grew up together but then the next page was a raunchy scene. If they were as close as siblings I didn’t get it. Maybe they should have just met and then drifted apart and the chemistry revamped.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 6:51 am

      I completely agree!!!

  • Heather April 29, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Because of Winn Dixie is an amazing book (elementary teacher here though 😉). Thanks for the book ideas! Currently in the middle of Its Always the Husband.

  • Julie April 29, 2019 at 6:49 am

    I couldn’t finish the 99 book either. I hate not finishing a book but it truly was a dud. I just finished california girls by Susan mallery and one true loves by taylor Jenkins reid and recommended them both!

  • Beth Miller April 29, 2019 at 6:51 am

    You need to try Jane Harper’s books! She just released her third, and they are all SO good! Start with The Dry. They are set in Australia, so you feel like you get to know that country without being there!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 6:51 am

      I loved The Dry!!!

      • Kelly May 1, 2019 at 7:25 pm

        I would like to suggest you try “A Woman is no Man” by Etaf Rum. This and “The Mother-in-law” ( thank you so much for the recommendation!) are the two most favorite books I’ve read so far this year!

    • Mara April 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Yes!! Reading The Dry now. So good!!!

  • Erica Canfield April 29, 2019 at 6:51 am

    I read a couple of duds this month as well-must be something in the water! I, however, am not as committed as yourself-I ditch them once I know they aren’t for me. I absolutely adored The Storyteller’s Secret, highly, highly recommend. Another recent favorite is Beneath A Scarlett Sky-amazing book based on a true story.

    • Natashajk April 29, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      I LOVED Beneath a Scarlet Sky. It was so powerful.

  • Amanda April 29, 2019 at 6:54 am

    OMG…I’m reading 99% Mine right now. I’m about 1/3 of the way through and I keep asking myself if I should just stop because….ugh. I’m bored. That’s it, I’m just plain bored.

    So….I think I need a little nudge….someone just tell me to throw the towel in on this one because it’s not going to get any better! haha

    • Romi April 29, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Throw in the towel because it doesn’t get better. I loved The Hating Game and feel the opposite about 99 Percent Mine. I restarted the book 3 times thinking I was missing something. It’s not her best work.

  • Rebecca Jo April 29, 2019 at 6:55 am

    I was super disappointed in 99 Percent Mine too – I thought the twins were both spoiled brats. So was looking forward to it too – such a let down

  • Kassidy April 29, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Because of Winn-Dixie is still my favorite book of all time! So many great lessons and the relationship between the dog and his girl is just too good.

  • Rachel April 29, 2019 at 7:01 am

    I always love your book reviews and it so surreal today that my book is included! Thank you for not only endorsing it, but for sharing about it too. I appreciate it so so much!

  • Heather Forcey April 29, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Two good ones I read this month were Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys and The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff. The first one is about a girl trying to escape her mother’s legacy of working in a brothel in New Orleans in the 1950s. The second is by the author who wrote Between Shades of Grey. It’s about women in Britain who trained to be spies at the end of WWII. Both were great books.

    • Natashajk April 29, 2019 at 5:53 pm

      Ruth Sepetys actually wrote Between Shades of Gray. And I will absolutely check out Out Of The Easy. Pam Jenoff wrote The Orphan’s Tale.

  • Marti Detrick April 29, 2019 at 7:08 am

    I highly recommend reading Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain. Excellent story. A plus: no language or sex scenes–just a really good story!

  • Callie April 29, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Ugh, I didn’t like 99 percent mine either (and loved The Hating Game). I recently read I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan and enjoyed it. I also liked Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren and Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino.

  • Laura Anderson April 29, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Please tell Kensington that Edward Tulane is one of my favorite books as well. I just finished reading it to my class (12 years ina row now) and they loved every part of it. I always warn them that though there will be sad parts (I often cry even after reading it so many times), it has a happy ending….a couple students gasped! Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors…I’m getting ready to start Louisiana’s Way Home.

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams April 29, 2019 at 7:26 am

    I read The Love Season, an old school Elin hilderbrand book! Not sure if you’ve read that one but it was an easy, sad, delicious, suspenseful in a way, beach read. I’m reading The Alice Network about two fictional women who had different experiences in both world wars! So good!!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Leslie Steele April 29, 2019 at 7:35 am

    I have Maid on my nightstand ready to go! I so agree with you about how many books now are thrillers and lose some plot along the way. I love your book reviews!

  • Jordan April 29, 2019 at 7:48 am

    An Invisible Thread…amazing read!

  • Angela Ellingson April 29, 2019 at 7:49 am

    I always appreciate your honest reviews! And I love the kiddos’ contributions. Has Kensington read any Laura Ingalls Wilder books? We’re fans over here!

  • Kasey Wheeler April 29, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Little Fires Everywhere! So good and becoming a Hulu limited series featuring Reese Witherspoon!

  • Sally Hepworth April 29, 2019 at 7:56 am

    I love book review day! I just finished Before She was Gone by Heather Gudenkauf and it was fantastic. I also highly recommend The Silent Patient and Daisy Jones and The Six. So many books, so little time x

  • Carly April 29, 2019 at 7:57 am

    I felt like I was missing something the whole time I was reading 99% Mine. She didn’t set it up or give enough meat for their relationship to be meaningful at all! Total dud!

    I’ve recently loved Big Sexy Love, My Favorite 1/2 Night Dtabd (R rated!!), 9 Women One Dress, The Life Lucy Knew, An Unwanted Guest, and Daisy Jones and the Six.

    • Carly April 29, 2019 at 7:58 am

      *Stand, not whatever gibberish I typed above 🤣🤪!

  • Julie April 29, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I’m so happy to see you reviewed three books that are on my “to read” list-yay! I will take off 99 Percent as I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy. And now I am more excited to read ‘Maid’ and “It’s always the husband’ which have been on my list for a while.

    I just had the exact same debate myself as I started ‘Family Trust’/Wang and just could not get into it at all. I tried and after a few chapters decided to quit. I then picked up ‘The Mother in Law’ and I can’t put it down. So I guess I’m in the camp of not reading a book unless you absolutely love (or really like!) it.

    Have you tried author Elizabeth Berg? I think you would like some of her older stuff “Durable Goods” and the sequels to it. Also ‘The Story of Arthur Truluv” is a sweet/cozy read. ‘Southern Lady Code’ is on my list too. It’s short stories/essays which I don’t usually like? But it’s getting great reviews and I love all things Southern. Thank Kensington for her book reviews please. My 11 yo daughter likes her recommendations!

  • Amy April 29, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Always enjoy the book reviews, I love to read! Smith’s comment about Kensington’s book recap has me chuckling this morning.

  • Kate April 29, 2019 at 8:00 am

    I read so many of your recommendations and I comb the comments for more! I had started “I don’t know how she does it” a few months ago and agghh…I tried, and it’s so unlike me to not finish a book but I could just not do it! So boring and many unlikeable characters.
    I did love The Marriage Lie, I think I got that from a comment here. And I’m late to the game on the Crazy Rich Asians series but just started that after loving the movie!

  • Julie Goolsby April 29, 2019 at 8:02 am

    My kiddos (both now in college) also loved the movie “Because of Winn-Dixie” ! It’s a great one, so see if you can find it out there. I bet K will really love it and Smith will too 😉

  • Colleen April 29, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I’m going to bookmark this post! I’ve heard good things about a lot of those books! I am currently reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin and I’m not sure how I feel so far. I also recently read The Dreamers which I highly recommend! If anyone is interested, I always post book reviews etc on my blog! https://bmoregirlreads.com!

  • Colleen McTeague April 29, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Shay!! I love your book review posts, but I have a question… I’m not even a mother, but when do you find time to read? and are you able to read with the tv on/background noise? I want to read like all the books you post about, but Ican’t get motivated to or find the time, or maybe I’m just not the reader I wish I was or reading all the wrong books… But just curious! I’ll keep reading your reviews and adding your “loved” books onto my Kindle wishlist 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Yes, I totally read with the TV on. Last night, my boys were watching Avengers and I read on the couch next to them. I read most of my books at night and then while I’m waiting (for speech to be over, at dance, etc).

  • Erin H April 29, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I just re-read a couple of books by Marisa de los Santos because she had a new one out with the same characters. If you haven’t read them I highly recommend! The first one is Love Walked In and I think it’s just so lovely. Funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at the same time. The second one is Belong To Me and while I didn’t love it as much as the first, it’s still very good. And then the newest one (to me anyway) is I’ll Be Your Blue Sky and I loved it as well and was sad when it was over.

    • Michelle April 29, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Do you need to read the marissa de los santos books in order? Just picked up I’ll be your blue sky

      • Erin H April 29, 2019 at 2:51 pm

        No – she kind of recaps the connections in the book. I wanted to re-read as I couldn’t remember what happened. The first one, Love Walked In, is one of my all-time favorite books though. I highly recommend!

    • Mandy May 1, 2019 at 6:35 am

      Yes! I just finished I’ll Be Your Blue Sky and I think it would be perfect for you, Shay: a little mystery, a sweet love story, the beach. Also, I am currently reading The Gown by Jennifer Robson and I completely agree with others that you would love this as well: Royal wedding, love interest, dual story lines. Both are great stories well told.

  • Jamie April 29, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Check out any book by Charles Martin! He was just on Annie F. Downs podcast and it made me love him even more! My personal favorites are “When Crickets Cry”, “Water from my Heart”, and “Long Way Gone”.

    • Nikki April 29, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      YES!!!! Definitely read Charles Martin!!

    • Katie April 29, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      When Crickets Cry is amazing! One of my favorite books!

    • Deana Lewis April 29, 2019 at 5:40 pm

      Yes to anything by Charles Martin!

    • Sami Moss April 30, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      Was just going to recommend Long Way Gone—my favorite book of 2019 so far!

  • Amanda Wilson April 29, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Have you read Outlander?

  • Leslie S April 29, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Lol – I loooove Smiths book reviews! He always makes me smile! And I love Kensingtons reviews. I’ve got Edward Tulane in my cart now. And I bought Because of Winn Dixie awhile ago but my daughter hasn’t read it yet – it just moved to the top of the pile! I love that we can encourage our kids to read! My daughter already asked me if Kensingtons book review was out yet 😃 She loves “knowing” someone who reviews books.
    And I love book review day too! I’ve got a que on my kindle thanks to you Shay!

  • Sutton April 29, 2019 at 8:22 am

    A suggestion for a future read – Thirst by Scott Harrison – if you haven’t already read it!

  • Amy Owens April 29, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Your descriptions of Smith always remind me of my nine year old, Lukas. He’s super into the Treasure Hunters series by James Patterson. You should have him try the first one!

  • Amy D. April 29, 2019 at 8:27 am

    You should read I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. I loved that book!

  • Leiah April 29, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Just this morning I finished The Secret by K. L. Slater, It’s a psychological thriller set in London so that should check off two of your requirement boxes right off the top. I can usually figure out the plot early on but this one kept me wondering until the very end.

  • Janelle April 29, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I recently read of Reese’s picks, Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton, and loved it! The author just came out with another book that’s related to Next Year in Havana and I can’t wait to start it. Also, if you liked It’s Always the Husband, you may enjoy All the Missing Girls. The plots seem similar in a good way.

  • Jantzen Haley April 29, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Add Karen Kingsbury’s “Two Weeks” to your list! It came out at the beginning of April, and I’m only about halfway through, but it includes members of her beloved Baxter family (if you haven’t read her Baxter family books, you should, but you don’t have to read those to follow this story). The book follows several story lines about infertility, foster care and adoption. You’ll definitely need Kleenex to make it through this one!
    Also just wanted to drop you a “thanks” for all the great book recommendations! I recently started a book club with several friends, and we have chosen our books largely based on your lists! “One True Loves” was our last pick — we all loved it!

  • Sara April 29, 2019 at 8:54 am

    I have been anxiously awaiting your April Book Review so I am HAPPY today! I just need something good to read & between you and the comments here, I just added about 10 books to my library list. Hurray! Thank you for making this Monday morning a good start to my week.

  • Carole V April 29, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Hi Shay, please take a look at the link for some books Kensington might like. When I was her age, I became an avid reader and it helped me so much in life! My favorite book was “The Westing Game”. I have even read it again as an adult! These are oldies but goodies
    https://libguides.msubillings.edu/c.php?g=242159&p=1610560

  • Olivia Yates April 29, 2019 at 8:54 am

    I have read The Hating Game three times because I love it so much! So I was so excited to get my hands on 99 Percent Mind and I was SO DISAPPOINTED. Like you, I did not see the chemistry at all! It seemed more like an infatuation with each other instead of being in love. Also, the rated R parts were just awkward!

  • Lindsay April 29, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I picked up Maid at the bookstore last week and literally thought to myself ‘I bet Shay reads this soon.’ Haha! Thanks for the honest reviews!

  • Ann Reedy April 29, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Has Kensington read the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter? My son just read them and really enjoyed them.

  • Eileen McCullough April 29, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Loved Daisy Jones and the Six!

  • Katie April 29, 2019 at 9:24 am

    I pretty much only read what you tell me to, Shay, so I don’t often have suggestions that you haven’t already read, but I did read An American Marriage by Tayari Jones this month and loved it! It’s on Oprah’s Book Club.

  • Erin Zehr April 29, 2019 at 9:32 am

    I just finished The Royal Treatment by Melanie Summers – actually it’s a three part book series and I read all three in a week. They’re very Bridget Jones and The Royal We-ish. Super funny and a great story. A little R-rated, but I would recommend. 🙂

  • Maria Zandri April 29, 2019 at 9:43 am

    My favorite book from this month was A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum. A debut novel about three generations of women in a Palestinian- American family. It was so eye-opening and engaging. I loved it!

  • Beth April 29, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I was so excited for 99 Percent Mine bc I loved The Hating Game so much! I got about 15 percent of the way through it and gave up. I really disliked the main character and could tell I was going to be dragging slowly through the whole book so I moved on to something else. Such a bummer!

  • Meg April 29, 2019 at 9:44 am

    “The Lost Girls of Paris” (British female resisters/spies that the UK sent into Nazi-occupied France) and “Not Our Kind” (NYC in the mid-40’s) were my two winners this month. I read several others but none that compared to those two. SO good!

  • Allena April 29, 2019 at 9:46 am

    I have heard nothing good about 99% Mine, but I’m stubbornly going to read it because I loved The Hating Game that much. Ha. My son read Edward Tulane in class (his teacher read it aloud), and he liked it so much he wanted to read it together with me, and we both LOVED it! I got my hands on a copy of Daisy Jones and the Six and CAN’T wait to read it. Flip side of 99% Mine, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I was on a 6 month waiting list at the library and one of my closest friends got it from Book of the Month and is letting me read it first – that’s true friendship. This month I read Where the Crawdads Sing (based on your review) and it was amazing, I loved it so much. I’m reading The Paris Seamstress right now and am really enjoying it!

  • Sara April 29, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Maid looks like it would be a great book for my book club. I still recommend The Tea Girl on Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See for you. We had a wonderful opportunity to have her Skype in for our book club and she is a great author.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      I think you could have some great discussions about Maid in a book club!!

  • Kelly April 29, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I really enjoyed “Daisy Jones & the Six” and think you will too! Quick read and it’s almost unbelievable that it is fiction! It was Reese’s March pick. You also NEED to read Bad Blood about the Theranos scandal!

  • Rhonda April 29, 2019 at 9:53 am

    I agree 100% on 99 Percent Mine which I pre-ordered because I loved The Hating Game so much. I flat out didn’t like the main character, never really felt emotionally invested in any of the characters and was just disappointed. It was a battle to get through. And I don’t like to get in the middle of kid’s debates, but Kensington is totally right about Winn-Dixie. Sorry Smith.

  • Sara McQ April 29, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Ok, Shay, I feel SO strongly about this recommendation for you that I almost looked up your email to message you AS SOON AS I finished the book! The Peachtree Bluff Series by Kristy Woodson Harvey. I read book 1 & 2 last summer and thankfully got my hands on an ARC of the last installment coming out next week, I think! You have recommended so many of my favorite books so I feel as if we have super similar reading styles – chick lit with happy, happy, happy but some depth at the same time. This is that series!!!! I could not recommend a series more. It is the PERFECT vacation or poolside read or when you’re just craving summer. Check it out! I LOVED ALL of them, but the third is PHENOMENAL! Ends the series so well. I have a book hangover now. Sorry for all the caps – just so love this series and wanted to share with you! xoxo

    • Alexis Jalovick April 29, 2019 at 2:28 pm

      Yes yes yes, a thousand times yes! One of my fav series!

    • Kristy Harvey April 29, 2019 at 5:32 pm

      This makes my day in a way I can’t even explain! Thank you sooo much for the book love! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Suzy April 29, 2019 at 10:36 am

    I have been trying to read the Sally Thorne book for over a month! I just cannot get into it! Based on your comments – maybe I should just ditch it!!

    Have you tried any Susan Mallory books? Or Jennifer Probst? Chick lit – and predictable- but enjoyable!!

    Thanks for sharing your reads!

  • Corren April 29, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Not sure if you’ve read it or not, but I Just read “What the Wind Knows” by Amy Harmon and loved it. I’ve now found myself looking for more of her books to read.

  • Ashley April 29, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Same with 99%! I only got 50 pages in and had to stop and I loved the Hating Game! Couple of great books I read this month, The Au Pair, The One (BY FAR my Fav!), and A Love Letter Life.

  • Lauren G. April 29, 2019 at 10:45 am

    You should add Knocked Up Cinderella by Julie Hammerle to your list. Perfect for a quick poolside read.

  • Megan April 29, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I read Winter Cottage by Mary Ellen Taylor and loved it. It Flashes back through the life of three different women in 3 different decades and has a bit of who done it in there as well.

  • April April 29, 2019 at 10:54 am

    I just finished My Oxford Year based off of your recommendation and LOVED IT!! now I’m reading the last Mrs. parish I love your book review days!

  • Ashley F. April 29, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I just read This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell and it was great! If you like family sagas that go back and forth between time periods you will love this book. Absolutely beautiful writing!

  • Emily April 29, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Oh, Shay! I really disliked 99 Percent Mine, too! It was just a really weird read for me. The characters weren’t ones that I wanted to root for, the storyline of the falling out with her brother was really underdeveloped and the whole disregarding her serious health issue was also bizarre. I was so disappointed. The only other book this year that I really disliked (like changed my opinion on the author) was the same as you- Verity. I think we’re on the same page!

    • Emily April 29, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Oh- and read I’m Fine and Neither are You. I’m sure it’ll feel different for you since you’re a blogger (and I’m not) but it was such a good read.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      Yesssssssssssss! Yessssssssss! Yessssssss!

  • StephC April 29, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I really loved the Long Way Gone by Charles Martin. Just a beautiful story – couldn’t put it down. My favorite book of 2018 & I read almost as much as you =) Haven’t read one this year nearly as good.

  • Kathy April 29, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I started “How Hard Can it Be?” last summer as a poolside read…never finished it! Just didn’t grab me.

  • Kara Messner April 29, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Oh goodness. I was SO excited to buy “How hard can it be?” because like you, I thought it hit all the buttons, but BLEH! I don’t like to quit books whenever possible, but I just couldn’t with this one. I put it down fairly quickly and was bummed (that front cover is SO cute and those always draw me in). Total agreement with you on the early bailing.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      I’m glad it wasn’t just me!

  • Bailie April 29, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I LOVED The Hating Game, like, finish at 4am and start reading again kind of love. So, I was just as pumped to read 99 Percent Mine….and…ugh. The best part was the Epilogue for The Hating Game at the end. Still trying to find another book that matches the angsty love story that The Hating Game did so well – guys, please tell me there are more out there!

  • Valerie April 29, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Shay–it’s called abandoning a book (when I taught upper elementary kiddos in reading workshop we talked about this several times) and you should feel free to do it-sometimes a book is just not right for you! 🙂 Too many other books out there to read.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you, Valerie!! I needed the encouragement!!

  • Toni :0) April 29, 2019 at 11:45 am

    The Participants by Carmen Kemp. It’s a good read and is encouraging for people who have gone through a rough patch and to pull up your boot straps and move on. It’s also a good read about friendships too. Highly recommend.

    • Toni :0) April 29, 2019 at 11:45 am

      That should say The Participant by Carmen Kemp. Not plural.

  • Caitlin April 29, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Read in a dark dark wood!! Im not sure if you have yet- but its the best book I read last year!

  • Nancy Grinstead April 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I love your book reviews. Some of my all time favorite books were recommended by you (Where the Crawdads Sing, One True Loves, Before We Were Yours). All so good!!! I can’t keep track of all the books you’ve read, but I’m curious to know if you’ve read “Behind Closed Doors,” “Lilac Girls,” or “Lost Roses.”

  • Kim April 29, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Daisy Jones and the Six is really good!! I didn’t like the format at first, it took some getting used to. I liked it while I was reading it but when I finished it I looooved it!! I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters, they are so well described and it made me so nostalgic for the bands that we grew up loving.

    • Carly April 29, 2019 at 2:58 pm

      If MTV did a 2019 “Where Are They Now?” on the band, I’d totally watch it 😉! Loved these characters so much and would love to keep following them!

  • Elspeth Mizner April 29, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I love your book reviews! Always gives me ideas of new books or authors to read-especially for summer!
    http://www.elspethsdaybyday.com

  • MomofRoses April 29, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    If you were to pick your top three books out of ALL of the ones you read so far, which ones would it be? I’m not a reader so looking to start.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 29, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      this year? Erika asked me the same question and I could only name two. The Tattooist of Auschwitz and It’s Always the Husband.

  • MrsHerby April 29, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I love your book reviews. My book wishlist on amazon is filed with your recommendations. I just finished The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale. It was fantastic. It’s a story about three lifelong friends as the go through life and experience all that entails…love, joy and pain. I couldn’t put it down.

  • sara April 29, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Daisy Jones and the Six is a great story, highly recommend it!

  • Kelsee April 29, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Yay! My favorite day of the month: Book Review Day! I read two memoirs this month:

    Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff was a really sweet read about marriage and faith. I enjoyed learning more about them and their courtship.

    10 Years a Nomad by Matt Kepnes was also fascinating. It was a bit repetitive but I enjoyed reading about his travels and found myself highlighting a bunch of passages throughout.

    Definitely adding Maid and Its Always The Husband on my TBR list.

  • stacy grant April 29, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    I know I must give this recommendation every other book review, but I LOOOOVED Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain. It’s been passed around so many times to friends and family that I lost it. Going to repurchase so I can read again. Would love to know your thoughts if you read it.

  • Ashley W April 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Rachel Hauck is a Christian writer and I LOVE her books – they are not too light, not too dark – you cant put them down but you’re not stressed out reading them – HA! Check her out! Recently read her new one called “The Memory House” and it was awesome!

  • gail katzenmaier April 29, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Kate Dicamillo has also written a series of books for your younger kids…. all about a pig (Mercy Watson) who lives with a human family! They are so much fun ! I have read them to hundreds of my Kindergarten students!

  • Joelle April 29, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Love your posts and book reviews. I haven’t kept up with your reviews in a while, but got a few ideas of what to add to my list- so thank you!

    I’m almost done with “point of view” by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and it’s really good! Biggest take away: “ God, make me less right so that I can be right with others.” Not getting stuck on my point of view and losing relationship with anyone- but finding the middle ground to love and have relationship with those that have a different point of view.

  • Julie Bradford April 29, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    one of my daughters brought home Because of Winn Dixie… after reading your comments I think I will go home and asked her if she finished it and I think I may order on Amazon for me & her twin sister to read 🙂

  • Jessica Merritt April 29, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    I recently read Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson and the Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls – really enjoyed both of them!

  • Peg McWhertor April 29, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    I agree about Where the Crawdads Sing being the best book That I ever read! I also thought that The Tattooist of Auschwitz was excellent. I tend to read books based on historical events, especially about WWll, or anything set in France or England. This month I read The Lilac Girls, We Were The Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter and The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristen Harmel. They were all page-turners. I probably need to pick some lighter reads for the summer…if they’re set in France.

  • Bethany April 29, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Have you ever read books by Sarah Jio? They’re excellent reads- great length for beach days or airplane trips !

  • Emily E. April 29, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Have you ever tried Janet Evanovich? She’s written a ton of books! Thinking about trying her out!

    • Kathy D April 30, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      Her books are hilarious….One for the Money is the first…think she is up to twenty something. There are many many laugh out loud moments. You don’t have to read them in order , but there is an advantage to doing that. Characters reappear and there is always the core group that shows up in each book. If you want to be entertained, laugh out loud, and not have to worry about missing any deep meaning hidden in the book…then these books are for you.

  • Claire F April 29, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    I just read The Last Romantics – loved it!! It’s Jenna Bush Hager’s first bookclub pick! Highly recommend!

  • Kristy Harvey April 29, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    I loved I’m Fine and Neither Are You and Daisy Jones is next on my list. Can’t wait! xo

  • NancyS April 29, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    I actually liked How Hard Can It Be, but think that might partly be due to my age (could relate to a lot of the medical and work situations)…..and also thought Maid was wonderfully done. But, my favorite this month was Miracle Creek by Angie Kim. It’s her first book and has so many of the elements I love in a book: family drama, mystery, courtrooms, etc. It’s especially interesting since a number of elements are from her real life (https://www.vogue.com/article/angie-kim-hbot-treatment).

  • Kristen April 29, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I look forward to these posts. I appreciate your recommendations and the ones that you do not recommend too. I don’t want to waste my time! I also really appreciate when someone honestly shares when something is rated R. As a Christian mom and wife I don’t go near those books! Thanks for sharing!

  • Julie Kennedy April 29, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Hey Shay! I was the loud mouth who complained a few months ago that I wish faith books were mentioned in your recaps. It’s really cool that you took reader feedback and we can see it in your blog posts. It’s cool to be one out of hundreds of comments and see that my comment actually got read and considered. I think that’s the sign of a true blogger. Open to comments and ideas. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that you considered my idea and I still get at least two book ideas from you monthly. I will always recommend your blog to my friends. Thanks!

  • Suzannah April 29, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    +1 for Daisy Jones! For Smith, check out The Last Kids on Earth series, and Galactic Hot Dogs series. Ridiculous but they have some decent vocab for graphic novels (elem teacher here, and I am here for Kensington on the Kate Dicamillo love!). What do you do with books when you finish? Consider donating to a Little Free Library nearby! We are LFL stewards, and love seeing books come and go from our front yard! You can find a map of LFLs near your house at https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

  • Cathy April 29, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Shay,
    I’ll bet Kensington would enjoy Mandy by Julie Edwards. It has been my favorite kid’s chapter book for 30+ years! It’s about a 10 year old girl who lives in an orphanage in England and all she wants is a place to call her own. The story is lovely and so well written. And the author is Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music (writing under her married name) She wrote the story for her daughter.

  • Emily April 29, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    I agree completely about the plot and characters of 99% mine. I was really bummed, since I found The Hating Game to be hilarious!

    Funny little series that has me laughing currently is Spotless by Camilla Monk. 4/5 stars — quick, witty, and has me laughing out loud at parts! PG13 rated/no graphic sex

  • Tiffany Stegall April 29, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    I can never remember if you have shared if you had read this or not, but if you haven’t, you need to read Safely Home by Randy Alcorn! Oh my mercy, it will wreck you in the best way. I should screen shot a picture of it for you. It is so, so good.

    And tell Kensington thank you for her suggestions! We have taken (and LOVED) all of them! We love Kate DiCamillo and will have to look for this one next.

  • Paula Brown April 29, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I look forward to your book reviews. A recent book I enjoyed on Audible was “The Midwifes Revolt”. It is read by my all time favorite narrator Julia Whalen i believe she made the book great – brought the characters to life. It’s a historical fiction.
    My current audible choice is also narrated by Julia Whalen and is written by Taylor Jenkins Reid – entitled “Maybe in another life”. And although I’m just getting good and started….. I love it !!!

  • Ronda Grier April 29, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    I am like you. my kindle goes everywhere and The app on my phone just in case… Read any Marie Force books. Stand alones or series. Those McCarthy boys she writes about … whew!

    Love Bella Andre too!

    Thank You for all the book reviews. Making my summer list too!

  • Aubrey April 29, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Have you ever read The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane? Such a great read!!

  • Mary April 29, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Shay- has Kensington read “Crenshaw”? It’s also a book by Kate DiCamillo. I just finished reading it to my 3rd graders and they LOVED it! They were also big fans of “Because of Winn-Dixie” and after we finished reading it, we watched the movie-which was also great! (The book was better) 🙂

  • Heather April 29, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    A book recommendations for your kiddos is Louisiana’s Way Home. It is also by Kate Dicamillo. I’m a third grade teacher and read it over spring vrea. I couldn’t wait to get back to school to read it aloud to my students. They are loving it so far.

  • Kristy Moore April 29, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Can’t remember if you’ve read ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover? I’m halfway through and so intrigued. If you haven’t read it, it’s about a girl who never attended school until she was 17. Gets at all my emotions!

  • Katie A April 29, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Shay,
    You would love Once Upon a River. It is the same author as the Thirteeth Tale. It so well-written, and a unique story. Kinda like a fable with some magic realism. So good!

  • Ryan Contreras April 29, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Hey Shay! So, I’m a newbie to your world. My aunt (she’s my bestie and the most amazing person…EVER!) adores you and talked about you so much…she got me hooked on following you, lol. She’s not on Social Media, so last year when you had your giveaways, she convinced me to follow you in every way I could! I’m so glad she did!!! (PS…I didn’t win any of your FAB prizes 😭😂😂😂)
    Now, she and I started our own little book club based off of YOUR recommendations! It’s been a blast 😍 Thanks for letting us be a part of your world and see such an adorable, faithful, and beautiful family ❤
    I’ve enjoyed a lot of the books on your list and look forward to each month’s review. I’ve never been a “reader” before, so I’m very thankful for this adventure.
    I have a book to recommend….it’s currently Pre-Sale status on Amazon, it gets released on August 12th. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center….(we LOVED How to Walk Away!!). It’s apparently about a female firefighter with some exciting things that happen in her firehouse. This book really called to me because I am a first responder, I went through the fire academy in 2008…I became the first full-time female firefighter for my department in Cottonwood, Arizona 🙂 on 2009. I no longer work FIRE, I opted to do ONLY medical with a different department, but I still get to work with my fire brothers and fire science is still in my heart. I’m so behind on your past years of reading, that I’m worried I won’t get to it right away, was hoping you could read & review for me 😉
    Thanks for your time! Take care ❤

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 5:08 am

      Ahhh! Ryan! Thank you so much for your sweet comment!!

  • Lisa April 29, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    If you haven’t read it….Night Road by Kristin Hannah, so good! Thanks for saving me the trouble of reading 99% I removed it from my list!

  • Emily April 29, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    I have a fourth grader who LOVES Kate DiCamillo… I don’t think she’s read this one, though; we’ll have to check it out. And I just finished The Perfect Couple & thought of your review often as I was reading. I loved it! It made me laugh that I liked it as much as I did because I usually agree with your reviews 🙂 Regardless… I am happy you mentioned it since I wouldn’t have known about it if you hadn’t!

  • Ann April 30, 2019 at 12:58 am

    I love Kate DiCamillo, but I do agree with Smith that ‘Because of Winn Dixie’ isn’t her best. Tell him to try ‘The Tiger Rising’. I read it to my class every year, and no one has EVER called it boring 🙂

  • Laurel M April 30, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Oh my gosh where to start.
    1. Darcy is annoying and volatile
    2. Tom is a pushover
    3. The brother is just rude! Like a total jerk!
    And the weird underwear sewing friend plot was too odd!
    This book could not have dragged on more!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 2:28 pm

      Hahahaha! A girl after my own heart!!!

  • Kari April 30, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Has Smith read The Wild Robot? My son really liked that one (and the sequel).

  • Chasity Reeves April 30, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    I read the Edward Tulane book and I’m in my mid 40s!! Ha ha!! It’s such a fabulous story and really well written! I had to read it after my daughter loved it!

  • Lisa D April 30, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Oh no, I just put 15 books on my “Later Shelf” at the library based on reader recommendations! I am working on Liane Moriarty’s “Nine Perfect Strangers”. It’s sort of weird but I will stick with it. I highly recommend Sarah Jio’s books, all are good.

    • Mix and Match Mama May 1, 2019 at 5:04 am

      Let me know what you think about 9 Perfect…I did not like it.

  • Debra May 1, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Hi, I am currently a few chapters in reading Ghosted by Rosie Walsh. Actually I am listening to it. I can’t seem to get into it and I was wondering if you or anyone else has read it and whether or not I should stick with it. I was excited to read it but now I can’t seem to ever want to listen anymore. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it!! Thanks!

  • Anne May 1, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Just read Best Day Ever, by Kaira Rouda ….a thriller that was so good and written so that the chapters are short. Highly recommend it, and am now reading another of her books.

  • Ali May 2, 2019 at 6:58 am

    People have recommended it before. But, Hissyfit by Mary Kay Andrews has everything you love wrapped up in one book- perfect summer read.

    • Mix and Match Mama May 2, 2019 at 8:28 am

      Yes!! I read that one last summer!! It’s super cute!

  • Lauren Ewing May 2, 2019 at 7:46 am

    If you haven’t read “Love and Other Words” yet – you should! Similar to “Swear on this Life”!

  • Dianna May 2, 2019 at 8:56 am

    I did my April book review yesterday. Several of the books was from your reviews but also some random new ones. Hope you check it out- http://kdcline.blogspot.com/2019/05/what-ive-been-reading_1.html

  • Anne May 2, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Has Kensington read the Little House on the Prairie books yet? They are such classics and such great reads for young girls her age! I read them all around fourth – fifth grades (I’m 24 now).

    • Mix and Match Mama May 2, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Yes!! We went through many of those yesterday. I still have my original box set from when I was a girl!

  • Paula May 2, 2019 at 10:49 am

    My ‘unofficial’ new year resolution is to read more…I’ve been rewarded through many of your favorites! It’s been a fun process! Thanks for all the recs.

  • Mother of 3 May 2, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    My favorite book that I read this month was The Alice Network! I think I’m going to have to add It’s Always the Husband to my list. That sounds intriguing.

  • Kelly Plante May 4, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    I absolutely love your book reviews and the detail you put into them, and set up my reading list primarily based off of this or the comments! I just bought Swear on This Life and finished in one day. ONE DAY. Couldnt put it down. Your book reviews are one of my favorite posts each month! Cant wait for May!

    • Mix and Match Mama May 5, 2019 at 6:59 am

      That one is SO DARN GOOD!!! I wish I loved every book as much as that one. Thank YOU for your sweet comment!

  • Tracie May 9, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I am a third grade teacher, and my favorite chapter book read aloud OF ALL TIME is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I get goose bumps every year during the last chapter, and after so many years of reading it I still cry every.single.time. It is just the sweetest story about how we all can change for the better!! We also read Because of Winn Dixie, and my students love it. So many good lessons in that one, also…..especially Gloria Dump’s bottle tree. Love your reviews each month! Thanks for doing them!

  • Kathy May 10, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Hey Shay! Love your book reviews! Could you tell me which Kindle reader you have? Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama May 10, 2019 at 8:44 am

      The waterproof Paperwhite!

      • Kathy May 10, 2019 at 11:11 am

        Thank you!

  • Hillary Kinzel May 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    My friend Bonnie just wrote and published this book. She and her husband serve in ministry at MBBC (where we met you and Andrew years ago). This book is about the death of her teenage daughter but even more about how God sustained her and grew her through the experience. It is a tough but poignant read that will encourage moms (and women in general) to let God release them from the bondage of perception and perfectionism and let Him alone provide their true identity and worth. I would definitely recommend it.
    https://www.amazon.ca/Bethany-God-Me-midst-heartbreak/dp/1733758003

  • Sarah May 15, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    I came back to this review to see if anyone recommended Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and I saw a couple of people did! I read that recently, and it was SO good. It is based on an incredible true story that is very dark and heart-wrenching. I was definitely emotionally wrecked for a few days, but I am very glad I read it! I am about to read the Tattooist of Auschwitz based on your recommendation, and I think it is going to be somewhat similar. Can’t wait!