book reviews

My July Reading List

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I’m back with all the books I’ve finished last month. To be honest, there were three additional books that I read this month that I didn’t list below because they were awful. Two I couldn’t finish and the third I just skimmed the last few chapters of the book because I couldn’t take it anymore. LOL But the six I’m sharing below are all worth mentioning and reading! You can browse through all of my past book reviews posts here if you want more recommendations of things to read.
1. We All Love the Beautiful Girls – This book was good but wasn’t my favorite out of this bunch. Mia and Michael’s family and life begins to fall apart after they find out their best friend scammed them out of their life savings and their son has an accident at a party that leaves him very injured. The story is about their journey through it all and how it affects their friendships and relationships. It kept my interest but there were much better books that I read this month.
2. Redeeming Love – Wow. Wow. Wow. Based on the cover of this book, I was expecting a cheesy romantic love story but this was so much more than that! Angel is sold into prostitution at a young age and is living a life of emptiness and hatred until she meets Michael Hosea. Michael is extremely religious and feels that God wants him to be with Angel. He visits her at her brothel and tries to convince he to leave with him. After she is beaten badly one night by a client, she agrees to go with Michael and ultimately marry him. Since Angel never learned how to trust a man, she struggles with being Michael’s wife. Michael stays steadfast to his commitment to God that he will love this woman and be with her no matter how hard she makes it for him. To be honest, I did not think I was going to like this book as much as I did and was so sad when it was over. Such a great (and emotional) read.
3. Not That I Could Tell – A group of neighborhood moms who are all friends get together one night to drink wine and chat around the fire pit. By the next morning, one of the mothers has vanished and taken her two children with her. Everyone is stunned by her disappearance, most of all her soon to be ex-husband who fears something has happened to her and the children. At first, her ex-husband is not a suspect but slowly becomes one as more about him is revealed. This book moved a bit slow in the beginning but the ending really threw me and it saved the entire book for me. I ended up really liking this one.
4. Then She Was Gone – This book was a bit twisted but a thrilling read. Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together after the disappearance of her daughter ten years ago. One afternoon Laurel meets Floyd at a coffee shop and is surprised at how quickly a relationship develops between them. Floyd has two daughters and Laurel is taken aback when she meets his youngest one who bears a very strong resemblance to her daughter that disappeared years earlier. As Laurel learns more about Floyd and who he really is, her world is turned upside down. Loved this one and couldn’t put it down!
5. This Is How It Always Is – Out of all the books I read, this one was my absolute favorite. Rosie and Penn have four boys and when they get pregnant for the fifth time, they are hoping for a girl. When Claude is born, they are overjoyed for his arrival and have accepted that their family will only be boys. When Claude is five, he begins to start wearing dresses and says that he wants to grow up and be a girl. While Rosie and Penn think it is just a phase, they soon learn it is not. After much discussion, they decide to let Claude begin dressing like a girl and allow him to change his name to Poppie. Unfortunately the school and community are not as accepting of this and it ultimately forces the family to move to Seattle. They make the decision to not tell anyone in their new city about Poppie and hope that in time they can reveal the truth and people will accept her. Keeping this a secret puts a great deal of strain on the entire family. The dynamics of the family and the struggles that they face trying to allow their son to be who he feels he is inside brought out so much emotion for me while reading this. It’s such a wonderful book.
6. My Lovely Wife – This book is a bit twisted but a really good read. Millicent and her husband seem like the normal suburban couple with two kids and a great life. Except they like to murder people in their spare time. Eek! They decide to try and pin it on a local serial killer that has already been convicted of similar crimes in the past but that plan soon fails and they must regroup to figure out how to prevent themselves from being caught. There were quite a few twists and turns in this book and the ending was a huge surprise for me!


What are you currently reading? Any books that you would recommend?

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All the Books I’ve Finished This Past Month

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If you are a mystery lover, today’s post is going to be a good one for you! I have a few amazing thrillers/mysteries included in my recent reading list. Let’s get into the reviews: 
1. Still Alice – This book was made into a film a few years ago and got rave reviews so I had high hopes about it. Sadly, I really didn’t like it. Alice Howland is a professor at Harvard that is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. This story is about her life after her diagnosis and how she struggles to tell her family and also to hold on to herself while her mind is slowly slipping away from her. I don’t mind books that deal with intense or sad subject matter, but this book felt incredibly depressing and anticlimactic. I kept reading it with the hopes that I would like it more as the story went on, but in the end I thought it fell flat. Maybe the movie is better.
2. The Proposal – This is your typical cute love story and an easy beach read. Nikole meets Carlos at a Dodgers game after her boyfriend of only a few months proposes to her on the jumbotron. Nikole is not in love with him and has to turn him down in front of thousands of people. Carlos and his sister pretend to know Nikole in order to allow her to escape the situation and avoid the media that is swarming her after the proposal. Carlos and Nikole decide to get together again the following week and a friendship develops that quickly turns physical. Both try to fight their feelings but are unable to and decisions must be made if they are going to take their relationship further. It’s not the best book in my list but it was enjoyable.
3. Every Breath – I don’t want to give too much of this book away but I have to say that the author’s note really ruined the entire story for me. You will understand why if you read it. It’s a great love story about two people that meet randomly at a beach in North Carolina and end up falling in love after six days of knowing one another. Sadly they can’t be together because Hope is engaged to a man that she feels obligated to marry. Tru tries to convince her to be with him, but alas he returns to his native home of Zimbabwe after Hope turns him down. Decades later their paths cross again and their story continues. It’s a really good book but I wish the author had not done what he did in his prologue and epilogue. Ugh!
4. All These Beautiful Strangers – This first felt like a young adult book (but in a bad way) and I wasn’t sure I would like it. However, as I got further into the story it got better and better and I ended up loving this book! Charlie Calloway is a student at a New England prep school and is trying to escape her family’s past and the unsolved disappearance of her mother years ago. When she is invited to join the school’s elite secret society called “The A’s”, she is quickly thrown into hazing rituals that are dangerous and often destroy the lives of those involved. However, Charlie soon realizes that this secret society could be connected to her mother’s disappearance in a distant way and she tries to uncover the truth though many people are fighting to keep it hidden. This is definitely one of my favorite books of this bunch!
5. Necessary People – I really enjoyed this book though some of the characters drove me crazy. That didn’t detract from the story for me, because I was fully invested in seeing how it turned out. Stella and Violet are best friends from very different backgrounds who meet in college and hit it off instantly. Stella is wealthy and privileged, while Violet had a tough childhood wrought with abuse and turmoil. Both move to NYC after graduating, but Stella decides to galavant around the world while Violet begins building her career. By the time Stella decides to come back, Violet has risen to a executive level position in the television station she works for and finally feels like she is making her way in the world. Then Stella schmoozes her way into a job at the same television station and quickly begins her own ascent despite lack of experience and hard work. They become competitive and their relationship takes a turn for the worst.  There is a ton of deception between these two and Violet finds herself in a precarious position having to make a decision that will change her life forever. It’s not a thriller per se, but it did keep me on the edge of my seat until the end.
6. The Hideaway – I love a good feel good romance novel, but this one was just ok. Sara Jenkins’ grandmother dies leaving her a B&B in her will. She states that Sara must renovate the home and then decide either to keep it or sell it. Sara struggles with this decision since many of the residents of the B&B have been living there for decades. As Sara learns more about her grandmother’s life and her time at the B&B, it makes her decision harder. I did like how the story followed both Sara’s and her grandmother’s life simultaneously and thought the author did a great job switching between different decades effortlessly.
7. The Silent Patient – My favorite book out of the bunch! I NEVER saw the ending coming and it threw me for a major loop. Alicia Berenson is a successful artist married to a famous fashion photographer, but then shoots him five times in the face and is committed to a mental institution. A new therapist, Theo Faber, has been following the case and gets a job at this institution specifically to work with Alicia, who has stopped speaking completely. Theo tries to get her to open up and tell him what happened the night of the murder. Sounds like a pretty straightforward story but it is not at all. Such a great book that I could not put down!
You can check out all my past book reviews here.
Also, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog was released! You can view the full thing here.

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Past Posts

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A Duster Cardigan + My Recent Reading List

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All My Favorites in One Look + Books I Recently Finished

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Camo Faux Fur + The Best Books That I Read Last Year

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    Jacket – Fabulous Furs (more sizes here) | Turtleneck – Club Monaco | Leggings – Trouve (similar here and here) | Heels – Something Navy

All the Books I’ve Recently Finished

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A Jacket Perfect For the “In-Between” Weather + My Recent Book Reviews

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Jacket – Cupcakes & Cashmere (more sizes here and here) | Turtleneck – Club Monaco | Jeans – 7FAM | Boots – Stuart Weitzman (budget option here

My Favorite Brand of Pajamas + All the Books I’ve Finished Recently

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