December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

Happy New Year! I rounded out this year by reading 98 books. This December, I read a grand total of nine books. Many of them were the warm and fuzzy holiday rom com reads. But, I did have a few others in there.

Curious?

Well, check out my list, and find out:

  • Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella: Five stars
  • We Met in December by Rosie Curtis: Five stars
  • I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn: Three stars
  • Snow in Love by Various Authors: Three Stars
  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston: Five stars
  • 25 Days ‘Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander: Four Stars
  • The Hell With the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke: Five Stars
  • Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak: Four stars
  • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins: Five stars

What did you read in the last month of 2019? Let me know in the comments below.

15 Books That I Would Like To Read In 2019

2019 is already in full swing, and I’ve already completed five books of my Goodreads challenge. However, this year I really want to try to lower the books on my to-read shelf. Therefore, I hope that this year is the year that I read the following books. Some of these books are books that have been sitting in my house for a while, and I’m trying to get rid of. Others are books that I’ve been wanting to read for a while. And, of course, you have the books that are a part of series that I’ve wanted to finish forever.

50220960_739780059739767_7076388554976264192_n

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  2. The Game of Thrones Series by George R. R. Martin
  3. The Last Star by Rick Yancey
  4. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  5. The Wife Between Us by Geer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  6. Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kernman
  7. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  8. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  10. Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
  11. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  12. The Lies We Told by Camilla Way
  13. China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
  14. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
  15. Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines

The Best Books I Read In 2018 . . . So Far!

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is drawing to a close. This year, I was blessed to be able to exceed my Goodreads reading challenge goals by reading over 60 books (my challenge was to read 52). Here are some of the highlights of this year — in no particular order:

35156849_10216557326354024_899102728553234432_n

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Chocolate Please by Lisa Lampenelli

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett

The Nerdy and The Dirty by B.T. Gotfried

Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Save The Date by Morgan Matson

Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of the Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle

November Book of the Month Review

Liane Moriarty has been one of my favorite authors since I read Big Little Lies last year. Since then, I’ve read almost every one of her books including: What Alice Forgot and Truly Madly Guilty. So, when her new novel was one of the choices for this month’s Book of the Month, I jumped up for joy.

IMG_3876

Her new novel is called Nine Perfect Strangers. The novel is about nine strangers who meet while going to a health spa. The cast of characters are diverse, and includes an ex-sports car, a couple who wants to save their marriage, a family recovering from loss, and a romance author rebounding from a bad review and a bad experience.

Now the health spa is pretty unique, with extreme forms of healing. However, one extreme method of ‘healing’ brings these guys together to create an interesting bond to say the least.

Overall, the book was one of her better ones. At first, the book started off slow. But, as soon as you reach the midpoint of the novel things pick up — and you don’t want to put it down.

One thing that I really liked about this book is that Moriarty doesn’t reveal everything up right up front. The characters are like onions, and you have to peel them one layer at a time. She does this in all of her books, which as a reader makes it enjoyable and keeps it interesting. In this novel, she does this with all of the characters, including Frances the romance novelist. At first, you wonder why Frances is in the state that she is in. Overtime, it is revealed that she was involved in an online dating scam, where she lost some money. 

The only thing I didn’t like was the main character Masha, who has a dark past and reinvents herself — not just once, but several times. And, while she was the villain, it was hard to hate her. The woman almost died, and she lost a child. But, this woman was intense and rude. I’m not sure if this had anything to do with her past, but I definitely didn’t like how she treated her guests. There was definitely something wrong with her, but her intensity definitely intensified things.

With that being said, I highly recommend this book to all of those who are looking for a great read during holiday travel, or just a good book to curl up with to unwind during the holiday season.

Book Review: All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

With titles such as Something Borrowed and Baby Proof on her bibliography, Emily Giffin is hands down one of the queens of ‘chic-lit’ literature – next to JoJo Moyes and Sophie Kinsella of course.However, in her latest novel, All We Ever Wanted, Giffin begins
to stray from her roots. The result? One of the best novels that I’ve read this year.

All We Ever Wanted starts out with elite Nina Browning and her husband, Kirk. The couple are at one of their charity functions — a typical night out for the couple. Nina is a stay at home wife, whose charity and shopping fills her days, since husband Kirk makes more money than ever due to deals.

36292660_10216682577165216_6034703469225443328_n

However, across town, their 18 year-old son Finch makes the biggest mistake of his life. He takes a racist picture of a drunken girl passed out on a bed – Lyla Volpe – and has it sent around school. Soon enough, Finch’s parents have caught wind of what happened, and so has Finch’s school. This results in Finch losing everything he has ever worked for – including his coveted place in Princeton. As a result, we as the reader watch as the characters’ true morals come to show – and how money can never truly make you a good person.

Giffin tells this story through three points of view – Tom Volpe, Nina Browning, and Lyla Volpe. She does this quite well, as this adds a little something extra to the novel. As a reader, you get to see the point of view to what’s going on, whether it may be Lyla (the victim), or how the parents react. I liked hearing about what Nina’s processes
were, in addition to hearing about what it was like for Lyla. Hearing Nina’s point of view helped me understand the effects of this on the parents of the person who did it — something that can instantly be forgotten.

What I really liked was the character development of Nina Browning. At the start of the novel, Nina was yourtypical wealthy Nashville wife. However, throughout the novel, she
slowly sees the light on a lot of issues – including her husband’s morals, and what it’s doing to her son. Furthermore, I think the incident removed some of the blindness Nina had for the people around her. While I am not sure if this is realistic, I thought that Giffin did an amazing job with that. I won’t give anything away here, but you’re in for a surprise as the novel unfolds.

The only problem that I had with the novel was this – Lyla’s attraction to Finch. Yes, she’s 15 years old. However, she harbored a crush on him throughout much of the novel – despite the fact that he took this picture that was downright humiliating. Finch lied his way through everything – just to clear his name. Yet, in Lyla’s eyes, he was perfect. Now, this could be the fact that she’s 15 years old and naïve. However, I would be more angry than forgiving to the person who took that kind of picture of me.

With that being said, I still really loved this book. It was superbly written, and Giffin kept readers engage from the first chapter down to the last sentence. Therefore, I highly recommend that if you’re looking for a great book for your beach trip or summer travels, that you pick up All We Ever Wanted. Chances are, you’ll be reaching for her other books next (which I can tell you from experience that they are just as well written).