The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms | Lake Union Publishing | Book Review

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

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Book Summary:

“Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild-mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man, in particular, makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

I chose The Overdue Life of Amy Byler from Amazon First Reads last month. If you want to learn more about what First Reads is, you can read my blog post about reading on a budget, HERE.  I was definitely drawn in by the cover and the book summary as I am intrigued by any books that incorporate motherhood and reading. I have had pretty great luck with First Reads choices, in March I read I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan and it was one of my very favorites so far of 2019.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler was fun, engaging and witty. This time of year I tend to gravitate towards “easy reads” and this fit the bill. I enjoyed the premise of this book and loved the unique twist on a mom realizing that you can be a great parent and also still make time to be “yourself’. Amy’s character was multidimensional and I enjoyed seeing her process of rediscovering herself after many years of feeling like “just a mom”.

“I get this now. I get now that you can love what you have, love your kids and your life and your friends, and still want more. I get that it’s ok to go out and get more-more love, more friendship, more fulfillment-and still be a wonderful mom…I finally understand that traditional math does not apply to mothers: I can be 100 percent a mother and, though it isn’t easy, still be 100 percent myself as well. It means changing how I think. It means understanding that to care for my children well, I must never again forget how to care for myself.” -Kelly Harms, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

Kelly Harm’s writing is relatable and although the story is a bit predictable, this book is a very enjoyable ride. Harms nails womanhood and motherhood and the constant and usually rarely successful struggle to “balance it all.” I definitely recommend adding this to your summer reading list!

 

Amazon First Reads | April Book Selections & My Book Choice

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Amazon First Reads:

Last month I talked about one of my favorite (and affordable!) ways of having access to Kindle ebooks through the Amazon First Reads program. You can read more about that HERE.

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My March selection, I’m Fine and  Neither Are You by Camille Pagan, was one of my very favorite books I read last month.

April 2019 Book Selections:

Below are the April First Reads book choices…

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I love that there is always a wide array of genres to choose from and it is a great way to be exposed to new authors! I choose The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms and I can’t wait to check it out!

Summary:

“Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild-mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man, in particular, makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.”

What book did you choose?

Are you an Amazon First Reads member? What book did you choose this month?!

 

I’m Fine and Neither Are You | Camille Pagan | Amazon First Reads | Book Review

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I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan was my Amazon First Reads March 2019 book selection.

“Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?”


I have always loved Camille Pagan’s relatable storytelling and this newest release is no different. I connected so much with the storyline of being a mom, wife, and friend. All of these things are wonderful and they can also feel so incredibly hard. The endless demands of parenthood, the amount of work it takes to keep a marriage humming along and also keeping up with the expectations of work can sometimes feel completely overwhelming.

When you add in friendships that can sometimes make you wonder “why does this feel so hard when everyone around me makes it look so easy?” it can be an easy path to thinking there is something wrong with you.

The thing is though, these things are hard for everyone in different ways, and we sometimes have no idea what is really going on behind the scenes. What someone presents isn’t always the reality and sometimes the people that have these “picture-perfect” lives need us more than we think.

“It takes courage to be yourself when everyone expects you to be someone else.”

I’m Fine and Neither Are You takes on some heavy topics including substance abuse, loss, family dynamics, infidelity, the struggles of long term relationships and finding your voice, all while being a completely engaging read. It was messy and real and this was the perfect book for me this week.

I highly recommend this book and if you want to check it out, it is the perfect time to do so. It is one of the March 2019 Amazon First Reads book selection which means that you can get a Kindle copy for FREE if you are a Prime member (or 1.99 if you are not) and/or the hardcopy version for $9.99.  It’s a great way to learn about new authors and try a new genre.


Have you read a Camille Pagan book before? I would love to know your thoughts!