Happy happy BOOK DAY!
You guys, on this last day of February, I have FOUR really great books to review!
I have a little light fiction. A little heavy. One memoir and a book by one of my favorite authors.
Settle in, grab that Venti Pike with a splash of cream and let’s get started.
My first book this month was…
Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay.
This novel was suuuuuper cute! This was my first book to read by McKinlay, and let’s be real, it peaked my interest with the title. And the cover. Sold. This is exactly the kind of chick lit I want to read. Adorable lead character, cute boys, delicious food, beautiful European cities and love. Sign. Me. Up. It was light, it was easy to read and up until the end, it was very PG (the end did have a page or two of not-PG…just FYI). This is about a young professional woman who sets out for Europe to recreate a trip from her younger days. She visits Ireland, France and Italy. I just thought the whole plot was adorable. It’s the perfect beach read. Loved it! If you’ve read any of the author’s other books, please let me know! I’d like to read another one!
The second book I read this month was the #1 suggested book last month by one of my favorite authors…
Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover.
Hmmmm…I have a lot to say.
So, I love Colleen Hoover (most of the time).
Her novel, It Ends With Us, was my second favorite book of 2016. I absolutely love that book so much! Hoover never lets me down . (Strike that, if you’ll recall, the one and only time I’ve EVER called a book stupid on this blog was when I reviewed her book Verity…because…well…it’s stupid…).
So, needless to say, I was excited to read her latest book here. So what’s the verdict? Apparently I swing between “Top Three” and “I hate it” when it comes to Hoover. Hmmmm…I liked it. I was anxious to read it and didn’t want to put it down. Is it going to be in my Top Three? No. Did I really enjoy it and feel entertained? Yes. Was it a remarkable read like It Ends With Us? No. It was just really good. My only real complaint is that I think they could have found a better title for the book because well…it seems “off” a bit after reading the book. Okay, let’s break it down…this is a fictional tale of a convicted felon who is released from prison and returns to the small town where her baby (now a toddler) lives. She hasn’t seen her daughter since giving birth in jail and well, that’s where the story begins. I would say that Hoover books are almost always Rated R, so buyer beware. I thought the character was likable enough (I didn’t love her), but I was really invested in the story and wanted to know how it would end. It was good. If you read Colleen Hoover or Taylor Jenkins Reid books, you should read it. It’s pretty gritty and not as “chick-lit-ish” as the first book, but I’m glad I read it.
Agh…I am not excited about reviewing this next book.
I considered lying just to keep the peace, but that’s not me, so I’ll spill the beans about…
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
There are going to be at least three or four of you who get really mad at me, but y’all, I did not love this novel.
This book came highly recommended by some super amazing blog readers, and I didn’t hate it, but I really just got frustrated reading it.
Wait for it.
It involves time travel.
I hate stuff like that.
But I’m weird.
It’s probably amazing.
It’s probably all me.
Please don’t be mad.
I just really didn’t love it. I was frustrated, tired and annoyed by the end. The plot is super original (a woman goes forward in time in order to save her unborn daughter)…but then there are some major twists and turns that just wore me out. I will say that it did check the box of “happy ending” for me (a must when I read a book), but by the time I got to the happy ending, I was too tired to care.
I fully expect some angry comments because I know many of you LOVED this book, but I just didn’t enjoy it. I will say that I can see why it would make an excellent book club read though. There is so much to unpack and discuss that any book club could spend hours debating, contemplating and getting into the weeds about the ins and outs of this tale, I just didn’t love it.
The fourth and final book I read this month was the memoir…
The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan
Oh friends, I LOVED THIS ONE!!
So, if you listen to The Bestie Breakdown, then you know I have a huge crush on…
…actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Well, his wife…
…actress Hilarie Burton (from One Tree Hill) wrote a memoir about their life on a farm in…
…Rhinebeck, NY (a cuuuuuute city about 2.5 hours outside of NYC where Andrew and I visited in November 2019). I honestly have no idea why it took me so long to read this memoir because it absolutely checks all of my boxes. Girls, I loved this one! I thought Hilarie was adorable, witty, raw and full of grit. She shares everything from her struggle to get pregnant, picking wife and mom life over Hollywood, what a dang hard worker she is (this girl runs a farm!), the importance of friendship and community and why family trumps everything. I thought her story was super unique and inspiring. She made me want to plant a garden, call my bestie and hug my kids. If you’re a fan of hers, you must read this book! It’s filled with a lot of wonderful storytelling that will make you want to come back for more. Loved it!
That wraps up this month’s book review!
I would love a few suggestions please!! I would love to read one thriller next month (not too scary), and I would love some light chick-lit for spring break! If you have any recommendations, please leave them below.
Also, don’t forget…
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.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2019 (all 54 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2020 (all 54 of them), click here.
To see the complete list of books I read in 2021 (all 59 of them), click here.
That wraps up Book Day! I will see you back here next month 😉 . xx
Rebecca Rooney says
I just finished The Weekend Away. The movie (with Leighton Meester) is about to come out on Netflix. It was fantastic!
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys! It just came out in early February and it’s a historical fiction thats set in Romania in 1989. So so good!!
Another great book is Meet You in the Middle by Devon Daniels. It’s her debut and it’s a cute chick lit! Loved it so much that I’ve read it twice in the past few months!
Finley Donovan is killing it and Musical Chairs, both two really good quick reads!
Mix and Match Mama says
Musical Chairs was my third favorite book of 2021! I loved that one!
The Finlay Donovan series! Just finished the second book “Finlay Donovan knocks Em Dead” so funny! The author announced two more books to follow.
Will you be doing another book club breakdown in the podcast? I enjoyed the first one.
Kristen Thompson says
If you usually like Colleen Hoover and Taylor Jenkins Reed then I highly suggest Sarah Jio. Her books are a little bit heavier chick lit-nothing scary or violent but really good and deep. I am currently reading her newest novel, With Love from London and liking it a lot! Her books always have great locations and grab me right from the first page.
I always love book review days!!! Thanks for sharing!
The Family Upstairs would be a good thriller for you to read next. It’s not too intense, but I really enjoyed it!
Julie Eggleston says
The thriller you should read is In My Dreams I Hold A Knife by Ashley Winstead. Don’t let the title scare you. It is fabulous!
Sheaffer Sims says
The Rural Diaries sounds adorable. I mean, I’m not going to read it. But it SOUNDS adorable.
Shay, I read Local Woman Missing this month and it was really good. It’s a thriller that kept me turning the page. I started Rock, Paper, Scissors, which came super highly recommended, but it was too scary/suspenseful for me…but it might work for you? Lucy Foley also has a new book out, The Paris Apartment, but I haven’t read it.
As far as lighter reading I read both Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren and the Hating Game this month, but I think you have read both of those? Float Plan is really good if you’re looking for something really good to read at the beach.
I also read When We Believed in Mermaids this month and…wow. It will be in my top ten this year for sure. It’s a story of adult sisters searching to find each other (in beautiful New Zealand) while toggling back and forth to their tumultuous childhood. It’s really good!
Kelly Marie Sites says
I’m currently reading Meet Me in Monaco – really fun and a good read. And I LOVE LOVE LOVED a book called The London House. 5 STARS
LOVED Rural Diaries!! Hilarie reads it herself on Audible, and it is absolutely fantastic! So excited to hear she was writing another book as well! And is it weird that I have been trying to place an online order from Samuel’s Sweet Shop haha!
Erika Slaughter says
Okay, I need to know the best three books you’ve read in the last two years that would make the perfect Spring Break reads? Sounds like I should skip a couple of these. My goodness-it’s nice having a bestie who reads so much since I’m now down to reading so little. Basically, I appreciate your “research”. 🙂
Jenn R. says
I loved Whistlin Dixie in a Nor’easter by Lisa Patton. It’s actually the first in a series of three and it’s about a Southern girl from Memphis whose husband wants to buy a bed and breakfast in Vermont. I will definitely be reading the second and third books.
I still have 90ish pages left, but in the thriller dept. I’m enjoying The Paris Apt by Lisa Foley. My friend is reading The Golden Couple and LOVING IT. I think that one is going to be really good as well.
Hope your March reading is awesome!
Melissa Terry says
I don’t have a good thriller suggestion (although I am about to start The Last Mrs. Parrish so that might count, but I don’t know yet) but I just finished The Soulmate Equation this weekend and it was really good! Although it’s definitely what I call “light and fluffy,” it had a thought provoking plot and I was emotionally invested in the characters. It would be a great spring break book!
The Last Mrs. Parrish is my all-time favorite thriller. Enjoy!
Jane Augspurger says
A great thriller is The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf! Fast moving, great character development. A Barnes and Noble pick of the Month. An Amazon Thriller Pick of the Month. #13 NTTimes! Highly recommend it!
I second that! I just finished The Overnight Guest and I couldn’t put it down. Great crime thriller!
Amy Heinl says
I read The Charm Braceket by Viola Shipman…thus us the second one I have read and he is quickly becoming one of my favorites (he writes under his grandmother’s pen name who raised and inspired him). He stories are moving, with so many little moving statements that I end up highlighting them. This one will make you want to get a charm bracelet for every one you love as it becomes the link that ties grand daughter, mother and grand mother.
I also read The Maid by Nita Prose…its a great suspense but not gory. It’s a Clue like locked room mystery with a heartwarming journey of fortitude and spirit for the main character who is the same as everyone else yet entirely different.
Alysha Rooks says
I LOVED rural diaries! Can’t believe you hadn’t read it yet honestly haha I also have the biggest Jeffery dean Morgan crush so it was a must read and now I have a crush on them both and desperately want to live on a farm and upstate NY ??
Shelley H says
Just finished the Golden Couple. Good thriller.
And I loved Magnolia Palace. I know you don’t love historical fiction but this is a really good one…love how she takes places in NYC and dives into them.
I thought Reminders of Him was a fitting title – everything ties back to Scotty. Scotty is the motivation/reason for every character in the book. Diem even is a tangible reminder of him.
Curious to hear why you felt it was unfitting! 🙂
Mix and Match Mama says
Okay, I personally didn’t think it was about him. I thought it was more about everyone else…and very little about him. It didn’t bother me at all, it’s just that I read on my Kindle, so most of the time, I forget the titles of the books as I never see them. When I went back to see the title of this book, it just surprised me because, I really thought it was more about everyone else. I even think Carpe Diem would have been a fitting title.
I thought ‘Reckless Girls’ (Rachel Hawkins) was the PERFECT mystery/suspense/not-too-scary read! And it takes place on a tropical island which I loved escaping to during the middle of winter. ‘Dial A for Aunties’ was also the BEST chick lit-suspense book ever, I LOLd so often. It’s going to be made into a show which is also exciting!
In terms of good chick lit, I haven’t read it yet but the new KA Tucker “Running Wild” is on my list. I feel like escaping into that world is always a good time! And ‘One night on the Island’ (Josie Silver) is also on my list of light reads. (Same author as ‘One Day in December’ one of my ALL time favorite light reads).
Love your book list-thanks, as always, for sharing with us!
Aren Cameron says
Yes, Reckless Girls was a good one!
Dial A for Aunties was just so fun to read!
Always love your book reviews! Please don’t judge Diane Chamberlain by just one book- and yes, The Dream Daughter is a bit far fetched. My absolute favorite book of 2020 was Big Lies in a Small Town. I loved that it told the story of 2 women, one in 1939-ish and one in 2018. The story goes back and forth between the 2 main characters while the 2018 woman tries to figure out the mystery of what happened to the woman in 1939. Lots of twists and turns and “I didn’t see that coming”. I know this one was advertised as similar to Where the Crawdads Sing- and while there are a few things that are similar, I LOVED this one better!
Kelly S says
Okay I’m searching and I can’t find it, have you read “Layla” by Colleen Hoover? It is my LEAST favorite of hers and I just can’t imagine that you disliked Verity more than Layla?
Curious if you don’t like time travel plotlines – have you read The Time Traveler’s Wife? I loved the book, loved the movie, and can’t wait for the series starring Rose Leslie from GoT!
If you still love Houswives, Not All Diamonds and Rose was a super fun read! Lots of behind the scenes info. Would be a great beach read.
I just read The Night She Disappeared By Lisa Jewell and it was a good thriller but not scary. Really loved it! Also recently read and loved Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren. So good! Currently half way through Reminders of Him and excited to see how it ends. 🙂
I loved “The Rural Diaries” too. In fact, I’d suggest this title doesn’t quite fit the book or live up to it. “Diaries” makes it sound juvenile or short/superficial. But Hilarie is a talented writer, and her stories are far more than mere diary entries. She inspired me too!
Kayla Bruce says
The Evie Dunmore series of the League of Extraordinary Women are fantastic (three of the four are out). Historical romances that are very rated R but so enjoyable and interesting.
I’m finishing up One Night on the Island by Josie Silver. It’s a total Shay book!
If you haven’t read The Husbands by Chandler Baker, you totally should!! It’s like “Stepford Husbands” essentially. Not scary, but just a touch of thriller… I don’t want to say any more and spoil it!
All my other book recs I give people either are ones you’ve suggested on here, or involve time travel 😉
Yes!!! The Husbands was so good! Not scary but a little bit of mystery. Lots of real housewives-type drama. Definitely recommend.
Also The Maid. It’s about a maid in a hotel. I really enjoyed it.
If you thought Verity was “stupid” don’t even think about picking up Layla by Hoover. I usually enjoy her books but this one was her worst for me.
I enjoyed Verity even though it made my head spin, but I agree: Layla was too far bizarre for me!!! CoHo is always fun to read though!
Ani Martinez says
Not light and not a thriller (by definition) but Between Shades of Gray and Fountains of Silence are EXCELLENT reads, both by Ruta Sepetys.
I totally agree! I have loved all of Ruta’s books and keep checking her “page” to see if she has released any new ones.
Thank you for your fantastic book recommendations! You’ve made me a book reader again and I have read so many fantastic book that I never would have found without your recommendations. So, from the bottom of my heart – thank you! (And I’ve rediscovered my library, which is a treat in itself <3
K.A. Tucker 4th book in the simple wild series is out! Running wild, about the vet from the first 3 books. If you liked the first 3 then this one is great as well!
Yes, I just read that and loved it!
I just finished this one and it was great! I love her Simple Wild series.
Cheryl Myers says
This is a random comment unrelated to the book review (which I always LOVE, btw) but I was at Berkner HS this past weekend (I’m from the Finger Lakes area of NY) judging a colorguard show, and lo and behold, there were the McKinney teams! (and they are excellent), so I thought of you and your sweet family and town. 🙂
Mix and Match Mama says
No way?! How crazy fun is that?!
I just finished Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I thought it was amazing. Thanks for the recommendation:)
Alyssa Nelson says
Rebecca Serle has one coming out tomorrow! One Italian Summer.
I read the Book of Lost Names after seeing it recommended in the comments many times last month, and it was VERY good.
Book of lost names was so, so good!!!
One of my favorites!!
I was SO happy to read your review of The Dream Daughter. I have had it on my Kindle for a few years and can NOT get in to it. It just didn’t do it for me, even though SO many people have recommended it to me. I feel redeemed! LOL
My friend just lent me Reminders of Him this morning, so that is next on my list. Love your book review posts!
Anna Ford says
I really enjoyed The Maid by Nita Prose. It’s definitely not a thriller but has a little meat to it.
My absolute favorite thriller of all time is Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. I have reread the last few chapters several times. Not too scary but very thought-provoking!
Alison Althouse says
I would HIGHLY recommend any of the Jasmine Guillory books… they use the same characters throughout and I loved learning more about them! The Wedding Party and The Wedding Date were the first ones I read but I’ve finally gotten a chance to read all the available books at our library and I adored each one. Definitely a chick-lit series, but sweet and thoroughly enjoyable!
Stacey Armstrong says
This is a perfect spring break chick-lot book ??
Rachel Shafer says
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel is so so good! I think you would love it!
Andrea Hooper says
Yes yes yes!!!! Also highly recommend this book.
I’m with you on one of the others, I hated dream daughter.
Are you going to start the book club again?
Mix and Match Mama says
I think we will…we just haven’t picked a time or a book yet. TBD!
Melissa Day says
Reading The Paris Apartment right now. Im only 4 chapters in, but I’m hooked!! Also, just finished Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and I think it’s right up your alley!! So cute and set in Cornwall.
All of Jenny Colgan’s books are adorable and such entertaining reads! Love them!
Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors I love love love her books BUT I could not read The Dream Daughter, I tried and quit, uggh I didn’t like it at all!! I am adding that memoir to my list, sounds cute! Currently reading The Secret Life of Violet Grant and loving it!
I think you’d love Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim! Her first book was Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune and while there is a character in common, you do not have to read them in order.
On the Thriller front (twisty, but not scary keep you up in the middle of the night creepy), I’ve enjoyed:
Little Secrets – Jennifer Hillier
The Night She Disappeared- Lisa Jewell
The Half Sister – Sandie Jones
This is How I Lied – Heather Gudenkauf
Aren Cameron says
Read Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeney or A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham!
I picked up “Everything After” by Jill Santopolo at the airport a couple weeks ago. It was the perfect vacation novel.
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins! A beach thriller. The first “thriller” I have read and actually liked! It would be a good beach vacation book!
With Love From London by Sarah Jio….London+books. I loved it!
I’d try another Diane Chamberlain before you give up on her! I just finished her newest one and it was SO good – The Last House on the Street. I’ve read probably 75% of her back catalog and there’s no other time travel I can remember 🙂
Also just read the Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and it was great!
Hi Shay! For some light chick lit, I think you would really enjoy Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens. It’s about two a travel writer who goes on assignment and her suitcase gets switched with someone else’s (obvi a cute guy). When she opens the suitcase and looks at what is inside she is convinced this man is her soulmate and the book is about her adventures while trying to find him. It’s light, super cute and totally a feel good.
Yes, I just read it too. Perfect spring break read!
I can’t say enough good about these three books that I blasted through: The Maid – The Keeper of Lost Things (touches the heart) and The Christie Affair which was told from a unique prospective. It was wonderfully written and a satisfying mystery.
I recently read a Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham if you are looking for a good thriller. I look forward to your Book Day every month!
Oh I’ll happily say it; I HATED the Dream Daughter. I am not a fan of time travel to begin with but I just found it so far fetched that I could not even finish it. Just no. Life is too short. I find with Colleen Hoover’s books that I either love ’em or hate ’em too. The last one I tried to read by her Layla was just awful (about a ghost which I’m also not a huge fan of the paranormal). That memoir sounds so cute and for some reason I am on a real memoir kick lately!
I can’t wait to read the Colleen Hoover book. Time travel /yuck-I can’t read the outlander books because of it. Your book recommendations always come at the best time for me.
One of my favorite posts! Last month readers recommended The Invisible Husband of Frick Island and I loved it. If you will give Diane Chamberlain another chance, her book Big Lies in a Small Town is wonderful. I listened to it on audio and just loved it.
Karah Stracener says
I agree with Big Lies in a Small Town, it’s such a good read.
Emily Gardner says
I’m excited to read Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment – her newest one! Should check the box for your next thriller book!
I know you are a Sally Hepworth fan…have you read The Good Sister yet? I can’t remember if it has been on one of your posts. I loved it.
I just finished Without a Hitch and it wasn’t my fav. Took way too long to tell the story. Not bad just not amazing.
Mix and Match Mama says
Yes!! I loved The Good Sister! It was very unexpected for me…the whole plot and the twists it took…loved it!
I’ve been recommending the good sister to everyone I talk to and can’t wait for her latest. Just saw Sally is stopping in McKinney on her book tour. I’m sure that is all your doing!! Bummed Im not near any of her stops.
Oh I just read the cutest book “From
Notting Hill with Love…Actually.” With that title how can you not read it??!!
Mix and Match Mama says
She is stopping here!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!! 🙂
Jenn McKinley also wrote “Wait for It”. I loved that book – I was hesitant to read it but it was a perfect beach read. 🙂
I also really disliked Verity – didn’t like the story line and way too graphic sexually. I am not uptight, but I felt the sex descriptions were too much in Verity.
I also dislike time travel – so I will avoid the Dream Daughter.
Did you end up reading Beautiful Country? I just finished it and loved it so much. I also just read Duke Actually and it was such a cute read. Also Rock, Paper, Scissors – I read with my eyes partially closed bc I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. Loved the mystery and suspense.
I always love your posts!!
Lauren H says
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey is a cute beach read! For a heavier read, I LOVED Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay!
Would love to hear you review the maid!
She already did! I read it after reading her book review. 🙂
Yay!! I recommended Hilarie Burton’s probably over a year ago because it had you written all over it! I got total Hallmark movie vibes while reading it.
That being said, you have to trust me and read The Rose Code and The Huntress by Kate Quinn. I know you typically don’t like historical fiction (or you say you don’t, but you love MOST Kristin Hannah, Beatriz Williams books and Kelly Rimmer books just like me!) but I promise that Kate Quinn’s books are right up your alley. She has a new one coming out in March, so you’ve got to get caught up! You should probably start with The Rose Code over the Huntress! I promise they will suck you right in 🙂
Katie Hayes says
YES! Agree 100%! The Rose Code is fantastic!
Cassie Adrian says
You should read Apples Never Fall by Liane Morirty. It is chic lit but heavier while still being happy. I look forward to this day every month! Reading your book reviews are my favorite thing in the blog world.
Yes! Perfect recommendation… and you can consider this one a “light thriller” too. So many things you’d love about this book!
A classic- just finished Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place and just started Find Your People by Jennie Allen.
Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering was my favorite book I read last month. It’s a thriller but not too scary/creepy.
I’m finishing up Rock Paper Scissors right now and it’s definitely a thriller but not too scary! It has come highly recommended as well!
Rebecca Maxson says
I’ve followed you and your friends’ blogs for years and never commented/reached out. But this story of this Auburn gymnast (the university I love and now work for) made me think of all the precious girls y’all have adopted. Hope they all find this inspiring. I also hope the link works-if not it’s on OA now.com.
Mix and Match Mama says
Looking it up right now!!! Thank you for sharing this, Rebecca!
Jen R says
Since you loved Jenn McKinlay this month, I would highly recommend her other book called Wait For It. I couldn’t put it down and absolutely loved it. The main character is from Boston and they make several Boston references which I know you would love too. It was an easy chick-lit read and would be perfect for your upcoming spring break!
Courtney M says
I just read “The Family Upstairs” by Lisa Jewell and I think you would really enjoy it! It’s a thriller, but not too intense.
I don’t like time travel in books either– yuck!
I’m with you!
Dear Mr. Knightley or any of the books by Katherine Reay! I loved this one- references to some of my favorite classical novels, chick lit, happy ending, rated PG… I always enjoy her books!
Loved Dear Mr Knightley! Such a sweet read!
Beth Johnson says
Do you ever read Jodi Picoult? I was looking through your reviews and could not find any like I was expecting. I just finished “Wish You Were Here” and it was so good, I was looking for another by her and thought I would check out your recommendations. Any thoughts?
Hi Beth! I’ve read a ton of Jodi Picoult and my other favorite of hers is Small Great Things. If you haven’t read her early books like My Sister’s Keeper and The Pact, those are great too
I am currently reading Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang. Wow, great book but so very sad! Eye opening perspective from the child of Chinese immigrants. Also, I recently finished The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. I will say that it was hard to get involved with the characters at first, but I did a lot of research on Google hahaha and made my way through it. You would probably find it interesting- setting is all things “English”.
I will forgive you for this if you forgive me for
H A T I N G Becoming Mrs Lewis! ???
Did you read that Colleen Hoover is coming out with “It Starts with Us” a sequel to “It Ends with Us” from Atlas’ perspective? Not being released until October 2022, but I can’t wait!
So surprised you didn’t like The Dream Daughter, it is one of my favorites. But I guess if you don’t like time travel you wouldn’t care for it. I don’t believe in time travel but to me this book made it seem like it really could happen!
I read Hilarie’s book a while back and loved it! (Except for all the bad language…to me that just ruins a book.)
It Starts with Us (Atlases story) is being released in October! I think you should read it then!
Tarryn Fisher’s Mud Vein is a must read IMO.
Oohhh The Dream Daughter is my all-time favorite! What I enjoyed about it was they don’t take the time travel stuff too seriously in terms of explanation. It’s like of like “You can time travel, and this is how you do it.” They don’t waste too much time on the science of it all. You just begin to enjoy the story. I absolutely loved it! I’m sorry you didn’t like it!
Kim S. says
Reunion Beach are stories inspired by the title Dorothea Benton Frank planned for her next book. It features letters, short stores, poems and essays by bestselling authors and writers paying tribute to Dorothea. One of the authors is Elin Hilderbrand and her short story is a sequel to Summer of ’69.
Highly suggest Local Woman Missing for your thriller!
I loved The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan! Super cute, set in Scotland!
Yes! I absolutely loved that one too! It makes me want to visit Edinburgh!
I hear ya about the time travel. As soon as I read that, I almost put the book down. But I didn’t and ended up really enjoying the book, but totally get that some people won’t.
I love a good celebrity memoir so putting Hilarie Burton’s on my list. Which reminds me, I recently read Kal Penn’s book “You Can’t Be Serious.” So so good! I’m sure you would love it!
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is a wonderful book!
I’m reading a bunch of Kristin Hannah right now as I languish on the library waiting list for The Nightingale at the recommendation of my SIL. I highly recommend 2 of her books so far: (1) home front, and (2) Firefly Lane. I like books where I can really connect with the characters and where it seems like the lives they are lining are at least somewhat relatable to me. I will warn you that I cried while reading them both. Ugly cried. I don’t want to spoil why, but the main characters in both really hit me where I am right now.
Mix and Match Mama says
Okay, you MUST read The Great Alone and Night Road!! Those two are my favorites of Hannah!!
Oh my gosh I just started Greenwich Park last night and stayed up wayyyyy too late reading it. Soooooo good so far and I’m about 70% of the way done. I’m hoping the end will be as good as the rest of it has been!!!
Amanda Drugan says
I love your reviews!!
You have to read Jodi Picault’s new book, Wish You We’re Here”. It is amazing! I can’t put it down!
Not gonna lie, I was sad you didn’t love Dream Daughter. You should try another book by the same author. Really liked Big Lies in a Small Town. No time travel??
Sally Hepworth says
I haven’t read any of these (which is unlike me!). And can I say how excited I am to see you in April. I just saw “Dinner with Shay” in my schedule. I mean … 🙂
Mix and Match Mama says
Eeeeeeeks! I’m going to fan girl hard. Prepare yourself. 😉
Try the author Jessica Strawser! “Not that I could Tell” would be a good one to start with.
Sandy Carter says
Hi Shay! I always look forward to your book recommendations! I just finished Local Women Missing by Mary Kubica and it was suspenseful, but not too crazy! It goes back and forth between present day and the time when the local woman went missing. It’s was an interesting way to use the timeline. I also just read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book Maybe in Another Life. I love all her books, and this one didn’t disappoint. It’s also told with an interesting timeline. Something happens to the main character and then the story goes in two different directions. One direction is what happened and the other is what her life would be like if she had made one decision differently. I know that’s vague, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. I loved it!
Three buzzy new thrillers I just finished are:
A Flicker in the Dark – Stacy Willingham (Emma Stone has optioned this one for TV) – the Louisiana setting is unique and fun!
Good Rich People – Eliza Jane Brazier (this one was just…WEIRD and insane and all about a bored rich LA couple and their dangerous game they play with “poor” people. This is for sure a talker)
The Ballerina – Rachel Kapelke-Dale (oooh, loved this one, and it’s set in Paris! Twisty story of friendship and betrayal set in the world of ballet, about ballerinas aging out of the dance company – they’re in their mid 30s)
Love your reviews! Thanks for your honesty about all of them. Last week I attended a Colleen Hoover book talk and she is SO charming and relatable. I’m with you – some books of hers I love, others I don’t but I always appreciate how she swings for the fences and always tries new ideas and genres!
Natalie Schofield says
I love your book reviews, I am an avid reader! I love thrillers and chick lit… so your blog is perfect reference guide for I also have so great recs for you. If you haven’t read Mary Kubica I would strongly recommend her. Local Woman Missing, Pretty Baby and The Good Girl are her best books out of 8 (in my opinion), however I loved all 8 books.
Jodi Picoult is an amazing author, however her books are very deep. She does a lot of research prior to writing each book so she depicts a very real picture and understanding of what’s going on and she tends to present all angles of a story. Wish You Were Here is her newest book and I highly recommend it for various reasons. Simple Truth and Spark of light are other great books she has written that I absolutely love. Happy Reading!
Spark of Light is probably in my all time top 10. Picoult brings so much humanity to an issue that is so often politicized and characterized in black and white. And I am always a sucker for a non-traditional storytelling approach. Strongly second this recommendation.
Stephanie Clark says
If you want a thriller I suggest The Good Lie by AR Torres. Could.Not.Put.it. Down.
Have you read The 100 Years of Lenni and Margot? That was a recent fave (very touching).
I see a lot of votes for The Rose Code. The Secret Stealers (same premise) was significantly shorter and perhaps better (maybe because I read it first?). The Alice Network or Code Name Helene are also good WWII stories.
In terms of a suspense book, my neighbor and her husband both enjoyed Northern Spy. It’s on my TBR pile.
My book club read Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary last month (Sci fi – not my favorite genre), but all of them enjoyed it. The movie rights have been purchased and Ryan Gosling is set to play the main character. I emailed the author to ask for food suggestions for our book discussion and he replied! Very classy.
The people we keep by Allison Larkin
Have you read The Alice Network yet? It was my favourite read of 2021
Karah Stracener says
My favorite post every month!! I’m a big Colleen Hoover fan and can’t wait to read this book. Have you read Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain? I loved it. I’m adding that memoir to my kindle. I’m a huge Hilarie Burton fan. I also enjoy her podcast with the other one tree hill girls called Drama Queens.
Danielle Koren says
I’m a huge fan of Sarah Jio and her new book With Love from London just came out a few weeks ago! So far so good! I know you’re a big fan of London 🙂
I agree, I love her books!
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
Good!!! Couldn’t put it down. Great beach read with some grit
If you like Memoirs, Stanley Tucci’s book ‘Taste’ is wonderful as is Andre Agassiz’s book ‘Open’. Both very well written.
I agree on the Jodi Picoult books. She writes a beautiful book from every point of view and always leaves me more accepting of others beliefs & lives.
Mix and Match Mama says
Oh my goodness, Open might be the best autobiography I’ve ever read! It was so good!
Also, if you like a suspenseful book, the one that comes to mind is ‘My husbands Wife’. It’s really good! Another good one is ‘The Last Mrs Hockaday’. It’s written like letters, but so good!
Jessica Wynn says
For your thriller I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend “a flicker in the dark” by Stacy willingham
I would love to hear your take on a memoir “I married adventure” a book that has stuck with me for years! About Osa Johnson and her husband original wildlife filmmakers about going to Africa to film wildlife in the 20s.
Liz Brown says
You should read love lettering by late Clayborn!
Kris G says
Yes! This one is so good.
Liz Brown says
Also – Jodi Picoult wish you were here! Crazy!!!
Caitlin Shoemaker says
YAY I am so glad you read and loved The Rural Diaries! I just kept thinking you would love it as I was reading. How cool that you have been to Rhinebeck, too. She definitely made me want to go.
“All Rhodes Lead Here”
Laura Crenshaw says
Love your recipes, book reviews, fashion, and everything about you and your precious family!! Question for you………..can you name a couple of your favorite beach read books for me to check out? I am leaving for Spring Break in a week and need some good reads while enjoying the beach!
Mix and Match Mama says
Ohhhhh! You’re so sweet! THANK YOU! Okay, this seems hard, but off the top of my head: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand, Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel!
Daisy Jones is AMMMAAAZING!
Do you only read recently written memoirs? I always suggest 3 weeks with my brother but its old but so good. Cried through the whole thing!
Mix and Match Mama says
I’m looking it up now! Thank you, Hannah!!
I think Morgan is awesome as well! Since Grey’s anatomy I’ve had a fan girl deal happening! Just finished Pack up the Moon and liked it a lot. Loved Our Woman in Moscow also
“the Love Hypothesis” was a really cute and lighthearted chick lit. Fun to read.
If you haven’t read Have you seen me? by Kate White I definitely recommend it. I don’t know if it would be a thriller but definitely a suspense novel.
I also recently read and loved The Sweetest Remedy, chick-lit with some depth.
Sam Van Gorp says
The Push by Ashley Audrain
Linda Stouffer says
“We begin at the end” good mystery- likable 13 yr old main character
Vicki Leuck says
Thanks as always!
Still recommending THE HARRY QUEBERT mystery
and currently THE MAID is keeping my attention!
Paige Queen says
I second that! Hard Quebert was a really good one
I have the perfect light chick read: If the Shoe Fits (a Meant To Be novel) by Julie Murphy. It’s the Bachelor meets Cinderella retelling, and was recommended by a legit book podcaster. Totally not my normal read, as I love thrillers and memoirs and a good self improvement book, but this was exactly what I needed to counter the heavy of everything else right now. So cute and fluffy and clever enough. Perfect quick read to reset! I think you’ll love it.
Goodnight, Beautiful is a fun twisty thriller not scary. I read it in one day! I also highly recommend any of the Bromance Bookclub (Alyssa Kay Adams)or the League Of Extraordinary Woman (Evie Dunmore) books for light fun reading
Kelly Bonner says
I’m currently reading It Ends With Us, somehow I just came across this book. ??♀️ Just started! Excited to read.
Mix and Match Mama says
I hope you love it too!!!!!
Three sisters by heather Morris
I would recommend trying another book by Diane Chamberlain, I love her writing but like you I’m not into time travel, etc. My favorite is Necessary Lies. Also The Secret Life of CeCe Wilkes.
Sheri Reid says
I’m late to the party b/c I waited for the paperback, but I loved Good Apple. I went back and read your review and agree with you completely. I can’t imagine any Southern woman that grew up in an evangelical church, not finding it interesting, at the very least. And the descriptions of life in NYC are great. Plus she’s just a great writer. Don’t let politics stop you from reading this.
First, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is also, my crush and absolutely loved his wife Hilarie’s book about their farm life. I was ordering books on my Audible app and noticed that Julia Whelan, who wrote the book “My Oxford Year”, (we both loved) has another book coming out. “Thank you for Listening” is her second Novel, I believe. You can pre-order it.
HI!! you are so great! I love reading about your travels, your parties, your clothes and your kids!! I am a nurse and your the doctors I work with also adopted 2 children form china and has 2 biological children! Crazy, huh? Your book reviews are definitely a must read every month,you have great reviews. Have you read “The Queen of Hearts” by Kimmery Martin? Lovely book about medicine.
Thrillers: Rock, Paper, Scissors and Sometimes I Lie
Both by Alice Feeney
Amy Katherine says
I would definitely recommend reading The Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. I just loved this one almost as much as Redeeming Love and that says a lot in and of itself!
Megan Kolb says
Hi!! You should absolutely check out A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw. It is fascinating! A spring thriller-ish book!
Did you see that the prequel to, It End Eith Us, is coming out in October?!
Mix and Match Mama says
I did not! I’ll be anxious to read that!
Shelley Noe says
Love your book reviews & try to read most of your recommendations!! Would love for you to read & review “When Crickets Cry” by Charles Martin!
I also now love reading historical fiction which I didn’t think I liked!! ?