This Tender Land

Fun fact… I just took the book cover to take this picture. The full book was too heavy to bring apple picking!

My Synopsis: Odie, his brother, a classmate, and a little girl from the town they go to school in embark on a necessary adventure to save their own lives.

Pairs Best With:  Fresh off the tree apples, or anything fresh off a farm. Bonus points for anything that little Emmy grew.

Brief Review: A slow burn, but a beautifully written book. Odies story embraces some tough topics like family and faith. The end had some crazy twists, but in a great way that brought closure to the whole story. Overall a great one!

Interested in reading this one? You can get it here:

Daisy Jones and The Six

MY SECOND AUDIOBOOK… and it will be hard to top!!

My Synopsis: A documentary that follows the rise and fall of a 70s band Daisy Jones and the Six.

Pairs Best With:  Champagne for breakfast. Also probably with heroine, but I skipped that one (which I highly recommend doing).

Brief Review: I listened to this book and I loved every second of it! It honestly felt like I was watching a documentary about a band. I wanted to google the songs they were talking about and had to remind myself it’s fiction.

I also loved how women in this book were portrayed. There were only 4 primary ones (out if a large cast of characters), but they ran the gamete. I really appreciated that she didn’t stick to a few stereotypes. It showed real genuine female friendships in a male dominated world and I am here for it. Also Karen was my favorite – but I might have just liked her voice on the audiobook the best.

I was hesitant to read this because of the hype, but I’m so glad I did!!

Interested in reading this one? You can get it here:

Mother Knows Best

Thank you Netgalley for this ARC!

My Synopsis: A woman loses her child to a biological disease, and goes to great lengths to prevent it happening to her future children. With illegal scientific procedures, a doctor & his assistant help blend 2 people’s eggs to prevent the disease from occurring again. Twists, turns, and terror follow.

Pairs Best With:  Two eggs… too on the nose?

Brief Review: This was the perfect beach thriller – a quick, easy read with lots of twists. Some were predictable, others were less. I really enjoyed the science-y side to this book. It added unique spin you don’t see often. Although it bugged me that Jillian was a genius science prodigy who’s one downfall was a man (🙄), it was essential to the story. I’d recommend this one!

Interested in reading this one? You can get it here:

The Ventriloquists

Thank you Park Row Books for this ARC! This book is out TODAY!!

My Synopsis: Brussels 1943, a team of rebels is forced to create a fake newspaper promoting the Nazis. In another act of rebellion, they decide to create an additional fake newspaper against the Nazis, promoting their own agenda.

Pairs Best With:  I had no idea what to pair this book with, so I consulted with @thereadingchemist – Belgium… fries! And I’m never one to pass up an opportunity for fries!

Brief Review: This book was a very interesting twist on other WWII novels I have read. To start, you rarely see a WWII book with only one Jewish character! Each character was written really well, and I enjoyed the short chapters set in the present. They broke up the story nicely. Each persons plight and backstory was unique and intriguing – I was especially drawn to David Spiegelmans story. Don’t let the page count scare you off – though there’s a lot going on, it’s a fairly quick read.

The one thing I have to mention is I found one historical inaccuracy and was a bit confused in America’s involvement throughout the story.

Interested in reading this one? You can buy it here:

The Ventriloquists: A Novel

The Friend Zone

Warning: unpopular opinion below

My synopsis: Two people who are clearly meant to be together can’t be. Classic.

Pairs best with: Tacos. Because they talk about them a lot, and every time they do, I want some.

Brief review: I have a whole lot of feelings about this book. A WHOLE LOT. I was hesitant at first because I’m usually not a fan of romance. But there are definitely some I love, and this book was everywhere (plus I won it in a giveaway), so I gave it a whirl. There were times I was tempted to lean towards “like” but I think I hated it. The ending, like last 20 pages, included my biggest pet peeve in books of all time. (If you know me, that was a spoiler, so I apologize.) The whole second half was so depressing and I was not expecting that AT ALL, nor did I find it necessary.

The end made me so mad I almost forgot about how annoying and problematic the “cool girl” troupe was and always is. Hate that shit.

But, at the end of the day, a book that evokes this much emotion is obviously well written and really gets to you. So originally I gave it 3 stars. But the more I think about it the more it bugs me for reasons that are spoilers, so 2 it is.

Extended review: *includes spoilers*

Let’s start from the beginning issues: COOL GIRL. Overdone, and honestly, problematic. A girl can be worthy of love without “basically being a dude.” Kills me. I was hesitant I’d hate this book because of that alone, now I barely remember hating that part. Because there’s more.

The accident. Okay Brandon’s accident was so depressing and honestly unnecessary. I get that the lesson was people have real issues, yours aren’t that big. But it still was unnecessary.

And then he dies?! That was just too much. Sad. Very sad. But again, unnecessary. It didn’t even help their relationship develop!!!! She still wouldn’t be with him!! Which brings me to something I forgot about being annoyed by…

If she’s such a “cool girl” who always “says what she’s thinking,” why the eff couldn’t she just tell him the problem from the start. MAJOR. EYE. ROLL. Be an adult and give him the real reason or cut him loose. The “it’s only sex” HAS NEVER WORKED ASK ANY MOVIE, TV SHOW, OR BOOK EVER.

Okay back to where we were. Brandon’s dead. They’re still not together. Josh did research, they can have kids, they can be in love. Great. They go to get the hysterectomy and she’s. Fucking. Pregnant.

If you know me, you know my biggest pet peeve in books is “we had sex once and now I’m pregnant – oops!” So not only is she pregnant, but they back date it to being the first time they had sex. Of course! Super sperm can cure broken uteruses!

I want to praise the author for writing about infertility because it’s such a sensitive topic and I’ve read very little with it before, but honestly I found the way that it ended insensitive.

And this isn’t a personal thing, I got pregnant somewhat unintentionally (sorry Millie, still love you!) but to have a character some people can connect to on such a sensitive topic and then give them their happy ending naturally was too much. Show the rest of the struggle. Show them going through IVF and treatments. THEN give them the happy ending. Keep it real. I’m genuinely happy they had their miracle baby. I am. But it was a character for other people to relate to and then the ending was just a cop out.

This book was widely successful and my opinions are in the minority. Did you read it? What did you think?

Still interested in reading this book? You can buy it here: The Friend Zone

Pretty Revenge

I just finished Pretty Revenge. I have a lot of thoughts. I need to get them out. So let’s dive right in shall we.

My synopsis: Kerrie is out to get revenge on a girl, Jordana, who ruined her life 18 years ago. Jordana is now a big shot wedding planner in Manhattan with her own troubled past.

Pairs best with: The only thing the Manhattan hot shots in this book eat is salads, and probably without the croutons… good thing I’m just a Manhattan cold shot because I enjoy my croutons! So yes, pair with a salad. Or go the Kerrie route and pair with pizza (this sounds way better to be honest).

Brief review: I enjoyed this book a lot while reading it, but thinking back on it I’m not so sure. It’s a light and quick read, it’s chick lit with a small mystery in the background. It definitely made me want to be a wedding planner, but I didn’t think the mystery twist really held up in the end. All that being said, I still enjoyed reading this book in the moment and would recommend it. Just be warned: this is chick lit (as much as I hate that term) and not a thriller.

Extended review: *includes spoilers*

The whole time I was excited to see what big wrong Jordan did to Kerrie. The things they they were hinting at didn’t seem like something that would still eat away at you 18 years later… and I was right. Obviously it’s tragic that Kerrie’s grandma died in a fire, but it sounds like it was an accident. And obviously stealing is wrong, but 18 years later you’re going to commit your life to destroying hers over that? Sounds extreme.

The end was so rushed and just way too easy. There’s about 10 pages left and BAM mwahaha I gotcha –> no argument –> boards a plane –> oh and here’s my business on a silver platter. It just was too convenient that it worked out so well for BOTH girls, and the only people hurt were the genuine bad guys.

Okay now onto William. I mean… what?! So cliche. So cliche. Oh let me just fall in love with the groom. But oh no he’s still getting married! Oh, but then he gets annulled. So again… no one gets hurt and she gets the man. Because a story isn’t complete unless you end up with a man!

Honestly, the only character I found at all relatable/real by the end was Sara.

And how many times in Jordanas chapters can she say “thank heavens for Olivia! I really like Olivia!” Just to make it so obvious she trusts her. WE GET IT. The plan is working.

So that was a lot of shit talking. Which is strange, because in general I enjoyed reading this book! The whole time I was entertained and hooked. Not necessarily by the mystery, but I liked the plot and writing. The end just killed me.

Pretty Revenge comes out July 2nd. Are you going to read it? Have you already? What did you think?

Dear Wife

Blog posts about mysteries are my favorite… Bring on all the spoilers!

My synopsis: Two stories – Beth on the run and everyone searching for a missing woman named Sabine. But how do they overlap? Great question!

Pairs best with: Anything fishy. Because everyone in this story was fishy. Get it?? Yeah. I hate me too.

Brief review: Honestly, I loved this book. I think it is her best one yet. It takes a lot to surprise me with thrillers – I’ve read way too many and I’ve seen every twist. The initial turn I figured out pretty quickly, but the final twist I definitely did not see coming!! Not much more I can say without spoilers – but check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

Extended review: *spoilers below*

Okay. I love reviews for thrillers because I go through ALL MY THEORIES mwahahahaaa

Okay let’s start with what I got right (yay me). Right off the bat I knew Sabine wasn’t Beth. How did I know? Easy – it was too obvious. Okay but really: Beth said she left her phone in the kitchen garbage. But Sabine’s husband called her cell phone multiple times (in every room) and never heard a ring.

Now what did I get wrong: everything else! I’m telling ya, I can smell a twist a mile away but this one got me!

My theory was that Beth killed Sabine and was on the run, but making it look like Sabine ran away. Using her credit card places, getting the apartment; I thought these were all Beth pretending to be Sabine. Maybe Sabine’s boyfriends wife, maybe someone we hadn’t met yet. That part I hadn’t figured out.

Needless to say, I was wrong. Beth was Emma, Marcus’ wife. I missed the initial hint, when Emma didn’t show up to dinner. I figured it out when Marcus’ mom showed up at his house.

And I really did not see Marcus killing Sabine until Emma/Beth did.

I love love loved that Emma/Beth paid back the Church and tried to keep her new friends. It had such a neat and happy ending. Normally those don’t fit in thrillers, but this one really did and I’m happy about it.

Dear Wife is out today – have you read it yet?? If so, what did you think??