Nine Highly Rated Paperbacks for Your End of Summer Reading List | Book Recommendations

fiction summer reading list

Ready to Travel…Summer Reading:

The other day I met a friend for coffee at Target and she told she was going camping and wanted to bring along a book to read and was hoping for some suggestions. She was looking for something enjoyable and also easy to travel with…meaning she didn’t want to bring a bunch of hardcover books.

I have noticed an uptick in people asking for reading suggestions lately which makes me so happy! I thought it was the perfect time to hop on over to the book section at Target and see what was readily available if you were looking for a book to grab and go!

I do order many of my books online but there is something about being able to run into a store and pick something up last minute. All of these books are readily available at your local Target, Barnes & Noble and will be easy to find at an airport bookstore and the best part…they are all around the $10 mark!

Gen The Bookworm summer reading paperback suggestions

The Perfect Couple is one of my very favorite Elin Hilderbrand books and I have many! This one has all the elements of her quintessential Nantucket beach reading style along with a captivating murder mystery. It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

Book Summary:
“It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from The Castaways, Beautiful Day, and A Summer Affair, The Perfect Couple proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.”


Gen The Bookworm summer reading suggestions

I know, I can’t stop sharing about Life and Other Inconveniences, but Kristan Higgins is truly one of my favorite summer reading authors. She has the ability to share relatable and real storylines that have both humor and heart. You can read my full review HERE.

Book Summary:

“Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?”


book review at Gen The Bookworm

All We Ever Wanted has all the elements of Emily Giffin’s easy reading style. In addition, she shares a storyline with a thought-provoking and relevant topic that many of us will be able to relate to with the many complexities of modern life.

While this certainly isn’t literary fiction, I think that is exactly why it worked. I loved how she was able to take a timely topic and incorporate it into her accessible writing style. It was engrossing to read while also sparking discussion in a way her books haven’t done before.

Book Summary:

“Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. 

Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.”


book review and recommendation

I read Before We Were Yours on vacation a couple of years ago and I will never forget it. Lisa Wingate shares a powerful and heartbreaking story that is based on true life events with compassion while also being completely compelling as a reader.

Book Summary:

“Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.”


book recommendations

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory is on my own summer reading list and I am planning on taking it on our upcoming summer vacation to Maine.  So many of my book reviewing friends have suggested it and I have been holding off on reading it specifically because I wanted to save it for our trip.

I love a good contemporary romance that is enjoyable yet not too cheesy and Guillory excels at this. It sounds like the perfect poolside read and after loving her book The Wedding Date, I have high hopes for this one.

Book Summary:

“Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each other

After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.”


book recommendation & review

The Dream Daughter is one of my favorite books ever. Diane Chamberlain’s books are so unique and she has this ability to weave storylines they are thought-provoking while also being completely engrossing. I am a details person and I love how she builds multifaceted characters and mystery and intrigue at the same time. I need to do a whole post about my favorite Diane Chamberlain books because I have many, but I loved The Stolen Marriage, Necessary Lies, Pretending to Dance and The Silent Sister.

The Dream Daughter had me on the edge of my seat while also constantly making me think “what would I do in this situation?”. You are able to see the story from multiple viewpoints because she does such a wonderful and in-depth presentation of the main characters. This was very different from a lot of her past books with the time-traveling aspect but it stayed true to her roots with the general concept and flow of the book. You can read my full review HERE.

Book Summary:

“When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

The Dream Daughter is a rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.”


book recommendations

How to Walk Away was my first book by Katherine Center book. I loved reading something that introduces me to a new author to love and anticipate their next piece of writing. While I am a fan of contemporary romance, I am quite particular about giving many a high rating.

The storyline is semi-predictable but it is the character development that Center just does so well and that makes her books so satisfying. I enjoyed watching Margaret’s journey towards healing and she had the perfect mix of vulnerability and strength that kept me rooting for her while also being relatable.

Katherine Center excels at infusing both humor and also resilience into her characters and I just enjoy her books so much. Her newest release Things You Save In a Fire is not out in paperback yet but it was a 5 star read for me which doesn’t happen a lot with this genre!

Book Summary:

“Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment. 

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect. 

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture the reader’s hearts with every page.”


book recommendation

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel a story about family, marriage, secrets and daily life. This book was so beautifully written and timely. I read it a couple of years ago while celebrating our own wedding anniversary and it was the perfect balance of a book that makes you think while also being completely heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time.

“Well. Usually, boys don’t wear dresses to preschool,” Rosie admitted carefully. “Or tights.”
“I’m not usually,” said Claude. This, Rosie reflected, even at the time, was true.

In a world where sexuality and society norms are a part of political discussions and also everyday life, this book is amazingly powerful and so timely. Frankel’s approachable writing not only educates but also shares a powerful message. She shares the idea of self-acceptance and allowing everyone to be who they really are while also taking into account the complexities of everyday life and just trying to do the best we can as parents and as human beings.

Book Summary:

“This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.

This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.

This is how children change…and then change the world.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.”


book recommendations

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell is a psychological thriller that ended up having the perfect amount of character complexities and suspense, which if you know my particular expectations of this type of books, you know I rarely find! I love her writing style and how she keeps me totally absorbed in the storyline.  It was gripping and kept me guessing until the end.

Book Summary:

“Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?”


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August 6th, 2019 New Book Releases | Happy Publication Day!

August 6th, 2019 new book releases

New Book Releases!

The new books keep on coming and I don’t know about you, but my summer reading stack is getting pretty big! I have way more books than I will ever be able to read during the next few weeks but that is just how I like it…My reading tastes very much depend on my mood so I always love having a lot of choices.

Maybe it is because I am keeping better track of it, but 2019 has had so many amazing book publication already so there have been a lot of wonderful options. I recently recapped some of my favorite books of 2019 (so far!) and you can check that out HERE if you missed it.

Kristan Higgins and Berkley Publishing

Pleasure Reading…

This time of the year I am drawn to books that are engrossing and easy to get drawn into. I have been reading a lot of books that are a bit lighter but have enough depth to not be total fluff. When I think of authors that totally succeed at this kind of writing, Kristan Higgins comes to mind!

I love her books and her writing is engaging and thought-provoking while also being fun and enjoyable to read. These kinds of books work well for “escape reading” which is something I tend to look for during this more hectic time of the year. I read her newest release a few months ago and I am excited to share that it is available today!

August 6th, 2019 New Book Releases:

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Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Life and Other Inconveniences involves four generations of a family, the ties that bind and the complexities of past choices and how they affect relationships today. Higgin’s offers multidimensional characters, diverse relationships and the ability to weave real-life issues into her plotlines.

While this is a fun and engaging read, Higgins is also able to provide a level of depth that makes her writing thought-provoking and satisfying. Higgin’s ability to share these stories from multiple different perspectives allows you as the reader to see where these characters are coming from, even if you don’t always agree with their choices.

In order to move forward, we must often look back at the choices and decisions we have made and Higgins excels at presenting this story in such a powerful and multilayered way. The ending of this book is bittersweet and real, which I find much more satisfying than a “happily ever after” scenario.

You can read my full review HERE

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Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

Keeping Lucy was my first book my T. Greenwood and I was immediately drawn into this story and the characters. Greenwood’s storytelling was wonderful and her attention to detail made me easily picture the scenes and the amazingly well-developed characters that were based in the 1960s and early 1970s. I have been wanting to read a book that just captivated me and this one did from the start.

I felt emotionally connected to the characters and was rooting for them all in different ways. Within the very powerful main storyline (that was based on real events) were smaller ones that also were very timely and powerful in their own right. Although it doesn’t seem that long ago, the last 1960s were shockingly different in many ways and I was impressed at how Greenwood could bring me there with such vividness in her writing.

This book was filled with themes of fear, persistence, friendship, hope and the most wonderful thing of all, the power that we can all learn and change. The ending of the book all came together for me in a very satisfying way and I was sad it was over which is a sign of a book you really loved.

You can read my full review of Keeping Lucy HERE.

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The Lemonade Life by Zack Friedman

The Lemonade Life was the perfect dose of inspiration while also being very relatable. Friedman shares advice and examples of how to live life on your own terms by being more aware of the control we have over our thoughts and emotions. This is what he calls “The Lemonade Life”.

Taking control helps give you the ability to have more positive changes in your own life. You will feel like you are in the driver’s seat instead of everyone and everything around you. While we can’t always control what happens to us, we can control how we respond and move forward.

I got so much out of this book and I know it is one I will refer back to again and again. While not every section was totally applicable to my own life, there was something I was able to get out of each of them. I loved the idea that The Lemonade Life isn’t a destination but a way of life. When we know ourselves, use the tools we have and work towards our own personal goals, we have the ability to live full and happy lives right where we are and as we grow.

You can read my full review of The Lemonade Life HERE

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Because You’re Mine by Rea Frey

Because You’re Mine has all the elements of a great domestic thriller, highly detailed characters, mystery, and suspense. I think what I have been missing lately with thrillers is the ability to really get to know the characters and what happened in their pasts to play into their current situations and Frey did an amazing job with this aspect. I also loved getting to know Lee’s son Mason. His character was great and I loved what a big role he had in this book.

This book had a perfect balance of thinking I had it all figured it out and also keeping me on the edge of my seat. Her writing is edgy and this book is full of secrets. I thought I knew what was happening and I was in for a big surprise at the end.

You can read my full review of Becuase You’re Mine HERE


 

July 2019 Book Recap & Ratings | Monthly Book Wrap-Up

July 2019 book ratings

The Month of July:

July was filled with lots of family visiting, a wedding, berry picking and lots of time in the water, either on the lake or at the pool. It was a hot and humid the last few weeks for us around here and I am very grateful to have air conditioning both at work and at home. When I was growing up I remember summers sleeping next to a huge box fan and I still love sleeping with the sound of a fan now.

Reading Recap:

I actually read a lot more than I had expected. The only way I keep track of all my books is on Goodreads, so it is always a little bit of a surprise when I add them all up at the end of each month. I read a lot on Kindle, a few audiobooks and a couple of hard copy books.

My daytime reading was pretty low but I made up for it with audiobooks and reading before bed and also on some early mornings. I have the best memories of reading during the wedding weekend while drinking my coffee and having the most beautiful Jay Peak mountain view.

Reading Highs

My favorite books this month and my only 5 star reads were After The End by Clare Mackintosh and Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler. They were both powerful in very different ways (one is fiction one is non-fiction)and ones that will really stick with me!

The Perfect Summer Reading:

The Escape Room, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Unbreakables were perfect books for a summer reading list. They were enjoyable, a bit different and had enough back story to fill my quota for understanding the WHY!! which is my general problem with some books these days…I like details that helps everything all come together and these were satisfying in that way!

Reading Lows:

I had a bit of a frustrating month with the “thriller genre” and The Turn of The Key and Lock Every Door were just 3-star reads and not ones I would recommend.

And while City of Girls started off well for me, it ended up dragging and felt a bit…boring?  Maybe I was just in the wrong mood for it because I have read a lot of amazing reviews for it as well…

July Book Ratings:

5 star book

After The End by Clare Mackintosh

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of After The End can be found HERE.

book review of The Idea of You

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of The Idea Of You is coming soon.

book review of The Unbreakables

The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Unbreakables is coming soon.

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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of City of Girls is coming soon.

book review

Mine by Courtney Cole

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

*My full review of Mine is coming soon.

book view of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill can be found HERE

book of the month selection

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Reckless Oath We Made can be found HERE

book review of Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler

Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of Limitless Mind can be found HERE

book review of The Escape Room

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Escape Room can be found HERE

book review

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of You’ve Been Volunteered is coming soon.

book of the month selection

The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Turn of The Key can be found HERE

book of the month book review

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of Lock Every Door can be found HERE


How was your last month of reading? Did you have any favorites? I would love to hear!

Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. 

Week of July 9th, 2019 | New Book Releases | Book Recommendations

Week of July 9th New Book Releases

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman and Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

New July Book Releases

Today I am sharing about two new book releases, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and Three Women. These books are very different, but both are great ones to add to your summer reading list.

Blog Tour with Berkley Publishing

Abbi Waxman

Yesterday I was part of the Berkley Blog Tour to celebrate the release of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. It is a delightful and quirky read, and I just love Abbi Waxman’s writing style. The book balances struggle with humor, and Waxman shares a relatable look at stepping outside one’s comfort zone. You can read my full review HERE, and you can enter my book giveaway HERE.

A Podcast Episode with Lisa Taddeo, the Author of Three Women

interview with Three Women author Lisa Taddeo

I read an advanced copy of Three Women back in June, and it is a book that I keep thinking back to, long after finishing it. Yesterday I listened to the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books podcast episode with Lisa Taddeo. Podcast host Zibby Owens shared a great interview with the author of Three Women, and it highlighted all the reasons this book was such a compelling and thought-provoking read for me.

book of the month July selection Avid Reader Press

If you haven’t had a chance to read this yet, I highly recommend it. It reads like a novel and is impossible to put down, and it would make a fantastic book club discussion. You can read my full review of Three Women HERE.

Here are a few more July 9th book releases…

In addition to Three Women and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, here are a few more book suggestions that are being released this week. These have come highly recommended from my book reviewing friends and are great ones to add to your summer reading book stack.

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden


Thank you to Berkley Publishing and Avid Reader Press for providing me advanced copies to review. 

 

 

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill | Berkley Publishing Blog Tour | Book Review

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Book Review

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Book Summary:

“The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book. 
 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
 
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
 
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.”

Publication Date:

July 9th, 2019

Book Genre:

Contemporary /Satire Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

Overview:

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a quirky and humorous read, perfect for your summer beach bag. Author Abbi Waxman introduces us to a woman named Nina, who has lived a quiet life filled with predictability and routine.

She works at a bookstore, enjoys trivia nights and struggles with many social situations. She is happy with the simplicity and life she has lived for so long when an out of the blue communication disrupts her world. She receives news that she has a whole side of her family she previously had no idea about. Her life gets flipped upside down and a little messy and an entirely new cast of characters enter’s Nina’s previously peaceful bubble.

Smart Humor & Intimacy

Waxman walks us through Nina’s transition with smart humor, witty dialogue and a level of intimacy that many other bookish readers will connect and relate with. Nina says what she thinks, and isn’t afraid to be herself. She struggles with change, and we get to walk along this path with her. The other characters in the book were enjoyable to connect with, and I especially loved meeting Mr. Phil, her feline sidekick.

Love Story…

While there are elements of romance, the most significant part of this story for me was the growth and change Nina experienced in her relationship with herself. She has a love interest, and some may be disappointed that this isn’t the highlight of the book, but as a reader, I enjoyed that this was only a smaller part of the storyline and this book was indeed about Nina’s personal journey and growth.

We get to watch Nina come into her own, experience ups and downs, and adapt to a new life and the people that are now in it. I loved that Waxman was able to address Nina’s insecurities and struggles with anxiety, and not only was this relatable but also inspiring as we watched her come out of her comfort zone. There was a beautiful mix of dry humor and a feel-good storyline. 

Blog Tour with Berkley Publishing & A Giveaway!

I loved having the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, and I am excited to partner with Berkley Publishing to provide a copy to one of you! You can click on over to my Instagram @genthebookworm for a chance to enter this giveaway.

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Thank you @Berkley Pub for including me in this Blog Tour and for providing me with a copy to review.

2019 Summer Reading | New & Upcoming Book Releases

2019 Summer Reading!

2019 summer reading

Transitioning to “summer mode”

Today is our first (unofficial) day of summer. Our boys finished school on Friday and today we are starting off on our new summer routine. I get a lot of apprehension before big transitions but then usually do just fine once we are in the swing of things. Does this happen to anyone else?

I love summer so much but there is a lack of routines and consistency that as a someone who thrives offs that stuff, well…it can be a bit of struggle. I know I am not alone in this feeling which helps, and whenever I start feeling this way I think about all the wonderful things about summer, like all the new books!!!

ALL the books

I don’t know if I am just noticing it more this year but this spring/summer has the most unbelievable amount of new releases from so many of my favorite authors! Every week another great book is released, and I have met some new to me authors along the way too.

Organizing when life feels chaotic…

Last week I was organizing all the things. In between my last week of solo working and the end of the year school activities, I decided I should work on getting my life together, ha! I have done this since I was a child, and I find it incredibly calming. Amidst the chaos, finding peace through organizing can be quite helpful when you get to worrying.

Summer Book Stack

On our last official day of “freedom” (AKA the last half day of school), I decided to find all our favorite spring and summer reads that Kristy and I have collected together and photograph them. I am sure this was a super great use of my time, but it did pay off for sharing on here!

Between the two of us, we have read all of these and thought they would make great summer reading recommendations stack! We read a lot of the same books and while we don’t always agree with our love for something, we agreed about these!

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Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

I am starting off with a book that won’t be released until the beginning of August but it is worth the wait. Kristan Higgins is one of the best summer reading authors in my opinion. Her books are unique, the characters are layered and they are always page turners and totally satisfying. You can read my full review of Life and Other Inconveniences HERE.

In the meantime, if you are looking to read some of her writing now, check these out.

On Second Thought, Good Luck with That & If You Only Knew (which also is a Kindle Deal right now!)

beach books

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

There are certain authors I associate with summer and Jane Green is one of them. Green’s newest release brings us a book about complicated relationships in a completely engaging storyline. I love books that bring in current issues and that seems to be a great theme of 2019 reading. The Friends We Keep brings us betrayal, forgiveness, coming back “home” and a second chance at happiness.

Jennifer Weiner

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

I know, I need to stop talking about Mrs. Everything…but I can’t! Books affect everyone differently, which is one of my favorite parts fo reading. I just connected so much this book and it made me think, long after I had finished it. You can read my full review HERE. And if you have read Mrs. Everything already, did this touch your reading heart too?

summer reading, St. Martin's Press

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

There is nothing like finding a new author to love and Montauk did that for me! Nicola Harrison’s writing is beautiful and captivating and she drew me right in from the very first page of Montauk. The storyline was layered and the ending totally caught me off guard! You can read my full review HERE.

summer reading

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another new to me author is Beth O’Leary! There are a million reasons why I love being a part of Bookstagram, but one of my very favorite things is learning about books I might not have otherwise. The Flatshare came highly recommended to me by some of my favorite book reviewing friends on Instagram. I am easily persuaded by other peoples suggestions and was not disappointed by this charming and relatable novel. You can read my full review HERE.

Elin Hilderbrand

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand 

And finally, the queen of summer reading, Elin Hilderbrand takes us back to the Summer of ’69 in her first historical novel. I am reading this right now and am just loving it. Her books rarely disappoint me and her ability to transport us back in time while still keeping her beach book vibe alive is amazing. I have never been to Nantucket but almost feel like I have been of her incredibly detailed writing. I always love her alternating narrations and storylines and I can’t wait to share my full review of this book soon.

I grabbed my copy a little early through my Book of The Month subscription but this will be released TOMORROW if you hoping to pick it up at your local book store or at your favorite online book retailer.


I hope you have enjoyed this list of recommendations and I would love to know if you have any that you would add! <3

 

Happy Publication Day! | June 4th, 2019 | New Book Releases

June 4th, 2019 Book Releases

new book release

Reading in June:

There are some amazing books that are set to be published during the next few weeks. June is always a big release time and so as a reader, it makes for a very exciting time to check your mail! Today I received my first June 2019 new release and it was the best feeling!

How is your summer reading list looking? Do you have big plans?  I have a great mix of women’s fiction, contemporary fiction and a couple of thrillers to top it off.

You can see some of the books on my summer reading list HERE.

summer reading list

And now on to the NEW RELEASES…Happy Publication Day!

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The Friends We Keep by Jane Green 


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Montauk by Nicola Harrison

You can read my full review of Montauk HERE.


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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert 


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Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin


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Simple Happy Parenting by Denaye Barahona, Ph.D. 

You can read my full review of Simple Happy Parenting HERE.


St. Martin's Press

The paperback edition of The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

You can read my full review of The Dream Daughter HERE.


Did any of these books make your reading list? I would love to hear! <3

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…| Book Mail, Listening at Work, Book Besties & Thoughts on Natural Deodorant |

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Checking-in:

Hello! How is your week going? I can’t believe it is Thursday already! Holiday weeks always throw me off and they also tend to be more hectic with 5 days of work fitting into 4 days. This is my busy work season now that it is nice out (Vermont photography season is in full swing) and I am trying to fit in as much as possible before school gets out in mid-June when our childcare will be pretty limited.

Currently listening to…

With the increase in photo editing, it means I have officially entered “audiobook” season! I am lucky to have a job that is in the creative field, which enables to listen to things while I edit photos. For weddings, I tend to choose audio books since they often are about the same amount of time it takes to edit a whole wedding…and regular sessions I tend to listen to a podcast episode or two.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

I haven’t made it that far yet but I am just loving The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. It is so powerful and she is a wonderful orator. The news had been hard lately and as important as I think it is to know what is going on around us, I also love something that motivates to be more proactive and supportive of others in our own daily lives.

IMG_2978I know I mentioned the docu-drama Chernobyl last week, but this week I learned that there is also a podcast that goes along with of the episodes. I talk about this more on my IG stories earlier today but it is amazing to hear the thoughts behind the making of the series and the choices that went into doing a show about this real event that affected thousands and thousands of people. If you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend it!

Currently loving…

Berkley Publishing

Book Mail!

There is NOTHING better than book mail! This week I was excited to receive packages from Berkley Publishing and St. Martin’s Press. Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite summer authors and Life and Other Inconveniences was just amazing! I have included it on my summer reading lists and think it would be a great one to toss in your beach bag. Higgin’s writing is funny and relatable but her characters are also relatable and multidimensional. Have you read any of her books before?

Friends who read together stay together:

best friends

Speaking of Kristan Higgins, I happened to show up to work on Tuesday with the same book as Kristy and we were wearing the same color sweatshirt. We obviously had to take a selfie to document this.

In addition to being my co-worker, Kristy is also my wonderful friend and reading buddy. We love discussing our current books at lunchtime but we normally aren’t reading the same one at the same time because we share most of our hard copy books…so this was really exciting! Do you have friends that you share books with? It’s the best!

If You Only Knew came highly recommended from my Bookstagram friends and Kristy already finished it and I am almost done and am loving it. It’s the perfect book for this more hectic time of year. <3

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Back to book mail & a Diane Chamberlain update!!

St. Martin’s Press was kind enough to send me the paperback release of Dream Daughter which is being published next week on 6/4! If you haven’t read this yet, this will be the perfect summer book to add to your reading list. Dream Daughter was in my top 10 books of 2018 and it might be my favorites Diane book ever and I have read A LOT of them.

I will have to do a whole post about my favorite Diane Chamberlain books but she rarely lets me down and her books are always unique and super engrossing, while also being total page-turners. I have read a lot of them while on vacation and they are the perfect books to just get lost in.

AND the most amazing exciting news of all, they announced that Diane will have another novel published in early 2020 (January 24th to be exact!) Big Lies In A Small Town!

Currently using…

natural deoderant

Lavanila deodorant in Vanilla Coconut

While I would like to say that I have parted ways with antiperspirant deodorant, I have tried and I just can’t do it. I think it has come from a lifetime of having that feeling of “dry” armpits but I just can’t get used to that “sweaty feeling”, especially while I work out.

I am all about compromise, so I have decided to use my “regular” Tom of Maine antiperspirant in the mornings and then putting on a more “natural” one, specifically Lavanila, when I get dressed for the day after class.

I don’t like to recommend things until I have really given them a fair shot but this stuff is pretty amazing! I have very sensitive skin and in addition to not cutting the sweat(deodorant just masks the smell of sweat but it doesn’t stop it like antiperspirant), it would make my underarms break out in a painful rash.

A lot of “natural” deodorants have baking soda in them which I think was the culprit. Lavanila is super gentle, smells amazing and really keeps you smelling quite fresh! And it lasts a long time. I first ordered it last May and each stick lasts 3+ months for me of daily use.

Have you made the deodorant switch?! Or are you meeting in the middle like me? 😉


Alright, that is all for this morning! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Thursday. <3

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog. Thank you! 

 

My 2019 Summer Reading List! | Book Recommendations

My Summer 2019 Reading List:

2019 Summer Reading

Summer will be here soon:

Hello! Can you believe it is already almost mid-May? While it is still not feeling entirely like spring over here in Vermont, the countdown is on until the end of the school year which means warmer weather will be here eventually. During the last month of school, life feels pretty hectic with spring sports and end of the year activities for the kids. It is a fun time of year but also a little exhausting!

Summer reading:

When life feels more chaotic, I am drawn to books that are engaging but also easy to pick up in shorter chunks of time. Summer tends to be filled with lots of exciting things but it also flies by. As a photographer, my work life is the busiest in the summer and it also happens to be the time of year that EVERYTHING happens in Vermont because it is finally nice out.

It is a wonderful time of year but also sometimes a bit harder to concentrate on reading. I tend to pick books that are a little more lighthearted and super easy to engage with during the summer. Below is my list of books of upcoming summer releases that I have either already read or have been highly recommended to me by other book reviewing friends. They are a mix of fiction, romance, mystery, and thrillers and I hope you find some that are a perfect fit for your summer reading list.

My Summer Reading List:

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Publication Date June 11th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?


Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Publication Date August 8th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?”


The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Publication Date May 21st, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.”


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Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Publication Date June 18th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country. 

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.”


The Wedding Party buy Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

Publication Date July 16th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Book Summary:

“Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each other

After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.”

The Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames

The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames

Publication Date August 27th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorne College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves. 

The Other’s Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake–the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite–this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.”

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Publication Date: July 7th, 2019

Genre: Mystery &  Thriller

Summary:

‘”I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses and meddling with their computers. He’s broken into yours…”

That anonymous note has arrived at houses in a quiet leafy suburb of Rochester, New York. It seems that a teenager has been sneaking into houses and getting up to no good. His mom found out and felt she had to apologize. But she kept the boy’s name out of it. So the cops wouldn’t come calling. 

But now, her neighbors know some kid has been through their homes, rooting through their lives, maybe finding out things best kept hidden. Starting with what happened to that woman down the street whose husband has reported her missing. He says he doesn’t know where she is. But it’s always the husband, isn’t it? 

Maybe her son found out something about that. Or maybe he found out something else. Because in this neighborhood there are a lot of secrets. Secrets that people might kill to keep quiet. And kill again…’


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Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Book Summary:

“No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.”


The Friends We Keep

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

Publication Date: June 4th, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Summary:

“Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted—the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. 

Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. 

Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. 

Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. 

By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness…until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. 

The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we’ve had or mistakes we’ve made, it’s never too late to find a place to call home.”


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog. Thank you! 

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins | Berkley Publishing {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Book Summary:

“Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?”

Publication Date:

August 6th, 2019

Genre:

Contemporary Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Life and Other Inconveniences

Life and Other Inconveniences 

Kristan Higgins is one of my very favorite summer reading authors and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of her August 2019 book release. Life and Other Inconveniences is a heartwarming story that is filled with family dynamics, love, heartache, and hope.

Life and Other Inconveniences involves four generations of a family, the ties that bind and the complexities of past choices and how they affect relationships today. Higgin’s offers multidimensional characters, diverse relationships and the ability to weave real-life issues into her plotlines.

While this is a fun and engaging read, Higgins is also able to provide a level of depth that makes her writing thought-provoking and satisfying. Higgin’s ability to share these stories from multiple different perspectives allows you as the reader to see where these characters are coming from, even if you don’t always agree with their choices.

In order to move forward, we must often look back at the choices and decisions we have made and Higgins excels at presenting this story in such a powerful and multilayered way. The ending of this book is bittersweet and real, which I find much more satisfying than a “happily ever after” scenario.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!